Flood Risk Rising Rapidly With Warming Temperatures Across Northland
I'm always amazed how good the first 60s of spring feel. If you don't have spring fever yet, you will within 36 hours or so, as temperatures push into the 60s. Not sure we'll make it to 70F surrounded by a sea of melting snow drifts, but some towns well inland from Lake Superior, away from the cooling breeze off the water, may come close.
A rapid thaw is contributing to a rising flood threat and the Duluth National Weather Service Office has issued a Flood Advisory, outlining a general threat of flooding this week, mainly in poor drainage areas. Some rivers in southern and western Minnesota and the southern third of Wisconsin are under Flood Warnings (map above) and we expect warnings for specific rivers and streams over the next 2-3 weeks close to home.
The latest National Weather Service advisories and warnings can be found here. One big take-away from the advisory (above) is "A near record amount of water stored in the snowpack will be released." There is still 5-8" of liquid water trapped in those drifts in your yard, and all that snow will be released into watersheds in a relatively short period of time. The only saving grace: no heavy rain will accompany the warm-up, and there is little or no frost in the ground, so more of that melting snow can soak into the soil vs. running off into streets and streams. That said, it will still be a mess out there for the next couple of weeks.
After peaking in the mid 60s Wednesday temperatures cool off later this week and ECMWF is predicting mostly 40s for highs next week. Keep in mind the normal high for the Twin Ports right now is 46F, so we won't be too far off the mark.
There is some good news on the weather front: the potential for plowable snow this weekend has faded over time. A coating of slush is possible by Sunday, but any snow that falls in mid-April almost immediately melts (the sun angle is too high for new snow to stay on the ground for long).
I think/hope I speak for many when I say that 131.7" of snow is quite enough for any season, and I can live with a third place winter snowfall finish. That's still impressive.
We get a sweet whiff of spring fever today and Wednesday, a hint of what's to come.