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First flood outlook 'average' for west-central Minnesota

A true sign that spring is coming: National Weather Service releases first flood outlook for 2022

Blowing snow in Willmar
While we've had our windy and snowy days, overall the winter to date has delivered average amounts of snowfall, and that helps keep our spring flood outlook at average as well.
West Central Tribune file photo
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MONTEVIDEO, Minn. — There is an “average” or normal risk of spring flooding in Minnesota, according to the National Weather Service’s first flood outlook report for 2022. The report released Feb. 10 found average snowpack conditions throughout most basins in the state.

As always, the first report comes with the caveat: Much will depend on weather patterns in March and early April.

The flood risk in the Minnesota River basin is termed average. The National Weather Service calculates a 13% risk of “minor” flooding in the Montevideo area, which compares to a historical average of 10% in mid February.

In general, snow depth and water content on the landscape through much of Minnesota is within the average parameters for this time of year.

The most snow is found in the headwaters of the Mississippi and St. Croix rivers. Due to last summer’s drought, the National Weather Service reported that there is a lot of room to intercept runoff.

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Snowfall amounts recorded from Sept. 1, 2021, to Feb. 9 throughout the state are within 25% of normal ranges.

The season’s first measurements show the equivalent of 2 to 4 inches of water on the landscape of northern Minnesota and in the 1- to 2-inch range in southern Minnesota.

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoors reporter for the West Central Tribune.
He has been a reporter with the West Central Tribune since 1993.

Cherveny can be reached via email at tcherveny@wctrib.com or by phone at 320-214-4335.
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