Warm temperatures to kick-start spring thaw
Above normal temperatures and highs in the 50s could take a big bite out of the Red River Valley's snowpack this weekend and next week. Brad Hopkins, meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Grand Forks, said the region is forecast...
Above normal temperatures and highs in the 50s could take a big bite out of the Red River Valley's snowpack this weekend and next week.
Brad Hopkins, meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Grand Forks, said the region is forecast for temperatures well above normal beginning Saturday.
"We are expecting a warm-up," he said.
The normal temperature for this time of year in the Grand Forks area is a high in the low to mid 30s and a low in the mid to upper teens.
But the city is expected to reach a high of 44 with sunny skies Saturday, dropping to a low of 25 Saturday night. The forecast calls for another high around 44 degrees on Sunday.
Patchy light rain is possible Sunday evening, but Hopkins said no other significant precipitation is forecast for the next week.
The region is in store for even warmer temperatures beginning Monday. The forecast for Monday through Thursday calls for highs in the 50s with nighttime lows remaining above freezing.
Hopkins said the warm weather and sunny conditions will thaw the snowpack across the region and "start to get the rivers flowing a little bit" as runoff begins making its way to tributaries and the Red River.
The weather service said today that throughout next week, many local tributaries are expected to be openly flowing and could approach minor flood stage. The Red River itself also will likely begin to rise, with increasing flows beginning from south to north.
Rising rivers also could lead to localized ice jam flooding at certain river locations, including tight river bends, tributary confluences and bridges or low-head dams.
The weather service plans to release its initial spring flood forecast early next week as the thaw begins.
The latest flood outlook, released March 1, called for a 93 percent chance of the Red River reaching minor flood stage of 28 feet in Grand Forks this spring. But the outlook gave just a 6 percent chance the river would reach major flood stage of 46 feet.
The outlook's highest chance of major flooding along the Red River was in Fargo, with a 19 percent chance of the river reaching 30 feet.
Grand Forks extended forecast
Here is the weather service's forecast for Grand Forks:
Overnight: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 25. South wind between 8 and 16 mph, with gusts as high as 23 mph.
Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 45. Southwest wind between 5 and 8 mph.
Saturday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 27. West southwest wind 5 to 7 mph becoming south southeast.
Sunday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 44. South southeast wind between 8 and 11 mph.
Sunday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 32. South wind between 8 and 11 mph.
Monday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 50.
Monday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 28.
Tuesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 54.
Tuesday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 38.
Wednesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 50.
Wednesday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 31.
Thursday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 55.
Thursday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 37.
Friday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 62.
Reach Johnson at (701) 780-1105; (800) 477-6572, ext. 105; or send email to email@example.com .