Skip to main content

Early outlook for spring flooding: Fair to middling

  • Author:
  • Updated:

Not too bad. Could be worse. Pretty much OK, probably.

No, forecasters did not really use that language. But if you're looking for a word to sum up the early assessment of Minnesota's spring flood risk the operative term might be "average."

That's how a National Weather Service meteorologist described it to KSTP at the Governor's Homeland Security Conference on Thursday. Dan Luna told the station "It's not a bad one. It's not necessarily a good one."

There's a lot of snow on the ground but experts say its water content is not as high as it might be. And, as usual, the speed of the warmup during March and April will be the key to spring flooding.

As of Thursday, though, KSTP says the Weather Service called the flood risk below average on the St. Croix and the lower Mississippi. It's about average on the upper Mississippi and above average on the Red River, which floods nearly every year.

A late January report from the Weather Service office in the Twin Cities said the snowpack in central and southern Minnesota and western Wisconsin is average or below. Only the Long Prairie River in Minnesota and the Chippewa River in Wisconsin were given a better than average chance of flooding. A new outlook will come out in late February.

If you're really into handicapping flooding odds, the Weather Service's Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service is apparently a go-to resource.

The U.S. Geological Survey and Minnesota's Department of Natural Resources also have links to more info.

At an agricultural conference in Wisconsin this week a meteorologist predicted another late planting season for the state's farmers, followed by a cooler-than-usual growing season, Agri-View reports. The precipitation outlook for the next couple of months? About normal.

More or less round about okee-doke, you might say.

Next Up

Semi into house near Sturgis, South Dakota

Semi drives into house near Sturgis, South Dakota

The force from the semi was so strong that the foundation of the house was moved.


18-year-old from Zumbrota dies in Goodhue County crash

The crash happened in rural Goodhue County around 8:45 a.m. Wednesday.

thomas beach, bde maka ska - lake calhoun

3 Minneapolis beaches closed due to E. coli contamination

No illnesses have been reported, according to the MPRB.


'Hockeyland' documentary debuting in Minnesota movie theaters

The documentary has received great reviews at numerous film festivals.

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Former Minnesota Olympic runner accused of driving drunk in Eden Prairie crash

Police said the man's blood alcohol level was three times the legal limit.


Man, 79, killed in ATV rollover near Faribault

The man was declared dead at the scene.

minneapolis police

Woman fighting for her life after shooting in Minneapolis

The woman was shot only about a half-hour after a 14-year-old suffered critical injuries in an apparent accidental discharge.

prior lake high school

Two students face discipline over racist messages at Prior Lake High School

Families and students were largely uncooperative with the investigation.

Sharon and Herb Vasser

Cause of Hopkins house explosion that killed couple revealed

Sharon and Herb Vassar were killed in the explosion. Herb built the home back in 1962.

Arrows on target

Charges: Minnesota camp counselor fired arrows at kids, injuring boy

An 8-year-old boy was shot in the arm with an arrow.

North Shore Mayor Chris Swanson.

Two Harbors votes overwhelmingly to recall Mayor Chris Swanson

The mayor had been scrutinized for several things leading up to the vote Tuesday.

Screen Shot 2022-08-10 at 8.43.50 AM

Suspected gunman at large after homicide near Albert Lea

The 32-year-old suspect was last seen in a 2004 white Ford F-150 with Minnesota license number EUZ-057.


flooding near Hastings

Minnesota bracing for possible significant spring flooding

The best-case scenario will be little snow and a stretch of dry, warm conditions.