Skip to main content

Snowy February increased spring flood threat in Minnesota

It we go from cold to warm in a hurry it will only increase the flood threat.

Record-setting snowfall in February across southern Minnesota has increased the risk of spring flooding. 

According to the National Weather Service, there is an above normal flood risk for "the main-stem Mississippi River and some of its tributaries," with a "greater than 50 percent chance for flooding" along the Mississippi. 

You can see in the map below, which is interactive on the National Weather Service website, there are six purple squares in Minnesota and numerous others just across state lines. They represent river locations that have a greater than 50 percent chance of major flooding this spring. 

They include: 

  • Mississippi River at St. Paul - 65 percent chance
  • Mississippi River at Hastings - 76 percent chance
  • Mississippi River at Red Wing - 51 percent chance
  • Minnesota River at Savage - 57 percent chance
  • Cottonwood River at New Ulm - 70 percent
  • Minnesota River at Montevideo - 66 percent chance

Flooding risks decrease when there is less precipitation in March and April along with a slower snow melt. The risk increases with more precipitation and a faster snow melt. 

Playing into the increased flood risk is that the month of March is expected to have below normal temperatures, meaning we could go from cold to warm in a shorter period of time, which would lead to a more rapid snow melt. 

Significant river ice and deep frost will also play a role in spring flooding threats, according to the La Crosse office of the National Weather Service. 

Another key factor is how much liquid is in the snowpack, and the NWS Twin Cities reports that there is 3-6 inches of liquid in the snowpack around the headwaters of the Mississippi River, upper and central Minnesota River, and St. Croix and Chippewa rivers in Wisconsin. 

"This is higher than we've seen recently, and in most areas is well above 'normal' for the end of February," the NWS Twin Cities says. 

Next Up

Brave New Comedy Workshop in downtown Minneapolis.

Brave New Workshop cancels shows due to COVID-19 cases

The shows were scheduled for Friday and Saturday at the Brave New Workshop Comedy Theatre.

Austin Retterath

Body of missing U of M student found in Mississippi River

Austin Retterath was last seen alive in the morning hours of May 8.

"Love" mural seen in St. Paul.

Summer mural events to bring together community, shine light on MN artists

The 2022 Chroma Zone Mural & Art Festival will take place this weekend in St. Paul's Creative Enterprise Zone, with ensuing events happening this summer.

14869-Manitou-Road-NE-Prior-Lake-MN-55372-6110268-image37

Gallery: Remodeled lakeside home in Prior Lake on market for $2.8M

It offers privacy at the end of a dead-end road fronting onto Lower Prior Lake.

golden valley police department

Carjacking outside ice arena in Golden Valley under investigation

Golden Valley PD confirmed it received a report of a carjacking Monday evening.

Growlers

Signs that MN Legislature could move to loosen liquor laws

A provision was approved by a legislature committee on Thursday but still awaits a final decision from the House and Senate.

US Bank Stadium

U.S. Bank Stadium looking to hire 400 part-time workers

A hiring fair will be held for the positions.

Screen Shot 2022-05-20 at 8.55.56 AM

Officials looking for man last seen leaving Hudson home

David Mckay, 67, was last seen in Hudson Thursday morning.

covid

'Hyper-contagious' BA.4, BA.5 COVID variants confirmed in MN

Omicron continues to evolve into a more transmissible virus.

covid-19, coronavirus

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Friday, May 20

The latest data shows there are 442 people with COVID hospitalized in Minnesota.

Related

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.

flooding near Hastings

Flood warnings issued for metro area ahead of rapid snowmelt

The guys from the Way Over Our Heads podcast have the situation covered.

1024px-Mississippi_River_at_Fort_Snelling_-_panoramio

Flooding shuts down one of MN's most-visited state parks

Nearly every trail is inaccessible at this point.

Flood warning issued for Mississippi River in St. Paul

It's expected to reach flood stage on Saturday night.

Harriet Island flooding, St. Paul

St. Paul declares flood emergency ahead of major Mississippi swell

Flood stage will be reached this weekend, with rises thereafter.