April 27, 2001 — Residents of river communities that have battled ever-rising flood waters in recent weeks can expect some relief with the advent of warm, dry weather through the weekend, according to forecasters at NOAA's National Weather Service. Some rain is expected in the Dakotas, Minnesota, and the St. Louis area, but should not cause any additional flooding problems. (Click NOAA photo for larger view of Minnesota River at Franklin flooded road crossing. Click here for more photos. Please credit "NOAA.")

Weekend weather and river forecasts advise that serious flooding will continue along portions of the Red River of the North, mostly north of Grand Forks, N.D.; the Big Sioux, the Little Sioux, and the James River in South Dakota; the Minnesota River in Minnesota, and the Mississippi River in Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois and Missouri. Heavy rains in South Dakota and the northern Mississippi River basin earlier this week led to secondary crests moving downstream, or prolonging high water in areas where the river had crested earlier.

Snow that fell last weekend in North Dakota has melted and prompted renewed flood warnings for the Wild Rice River near Abercrombie, which is expected to crest at 13-13.5 feet Sunday. Flood stage is 10 feet. The Red River at Wahpeton, N.D., rose slightly to 13.7 feet and is expected to stay at 13.5-13.6 feet through May 2. Flood stage at Wahpeton is 10 feet. The Red is expected to be at 27.6 feet Saturday at Fargo, dropping to 26.5 feet (flood stage 17 feet) by May 2.

The Red at East Grand Forks, Minnesota, was at 39 feet (flood stage 28 feet) Friday morning, expected to be at 37.6 feet Saturday and continue a slow fall to 32.4 feet by May 2. The Red River was at 49.2 feet Friday at Pembina, N.D., expected to stay above 49 feet through Sunday and fall slightly to 48.3 feet by May 2.

Runoff from weekend rains in South Dakota is producing record flooding along the Big Sioux River near Akron, Iowa. Headwaters of the Big Sioux are beginning to recede with a continued slow fall anticipated through the weekend.

Major flooding continues along the Mississippi River with the crest having reached the Keokuk, Iowa, area. Heavy rain across the northern Mississippi basin earlier this week has led to a secondary crest currently moving downstream, and expected to reach Dubuque, Iowa, by Sunday. This secondary crest will keep river levels steady for several days before they begin falling again. The Upper Mississippi will likely remain above flood stage through at least late May.

The Mississippi is expected to crest Saturday in Dubuque, Iowa, at 25.4 feet (the second highest on record), then to become steady near 23 feet by Sunday. Having crested at 22.32 feet Wednesday morning at Quad Cities Dam 15 near Davenport, Iowa, the river there is expected to continue a slow fall to 21.4 feet Sunday. At Burlington, Iowa, the crest of 21.27 feet reached Thursday morning was expected to begin falling slowly Friday.

The river forecast provided by the St. Louis Weather Service office calls for a crest of 23.6 feet Friday evening on the Mississippi River at Quincy, Illinois, where flood stage is 17 feet. At Hannibal, Missouri, the river is expected to crest Saturday morning around 23.5 feet (flood stage 16 feet) and to remain near the crest level for the ensuing five days. A 23.5-foot crest is predicted for Grafton, Illinois, on April 30 (flood stage 18 feet). The crest at St. Louis is still expected to be below flood stage at around 28 feet (flood stage 30 feet) about May 2. A crest of 29.5 feet (flood stage 27 feet) is expected at Chester, Illinois, around May 3.

Weather forecasts in the flooded areas call for dry, warm conditions in most locations.

The Eastern North Dakota Weather Forecast Office at Grand Forks calls for isolated afternoon thunderstorms Friday and 20-40 percent chance of additional storms through Sunday with temperatures ranging from 70 degrees Friday to the mid to upper 70s through Sunday.

The Minneapolis office forecasts isolated showers Saturday morning and a chance of showers and thunderstorms Sunday night and Monday. High temperatures are expected to be 70-75 Saturday, in the upper 70s to lower 80s Sunday, and in the 70s on Monday.

The Sioux Falls forecast calls for a chance of thunderstorms Sunday, but otherwise dry through May 1 with highs in the 80s.

The weather forecast for the Quad Cities area calls for dry conditions with high temperatures in the low 70s Saturday, around 80 Sunday, 80-85 Monday and in the mid 80s Tuesday.

The St. Louis weather forecast called for a possibility of isolated thunderstorms Friday morning and afternoon, then remaining dry through the weekend with highs in the middle 70s to upper 80s.

"We are far from being completely out of the woods, since the Mississippi is expected to stay above flood stage well into May, but some dry weather this weekend will certainly help conditions," NWS Central Region Deputy Chief of Hydrologic Services Noreen Schwein said. "Any additional rain will cause additional problems for communities and residents. And we continue to caution people that any flood is a dangerous situation."

Relevant Web Sites
See NOAA aerial photos of flooded areas. Please credit "NOAA."

Updated information on the flood and weather forecasts for the affected areas may be found on the following NOAA Web sites for the respective weather service forecast offices.

Regional Weather Forecasts
Click on the appropriate map location.

Davenport, Iowa, and vicinity

Minneapolis, Minn.

St. Louis, Missouri

NOAA's National Weather Service Central Region, with links to 38 forecast offices

NOAA's Hydrologic Information Center

River Conditions from NOAA's Hydrologic Information Center — includes national graphic

NOAA's Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Services

NOAA's Flooding Page

NOAA's River Forecast Centers

NOAA Flood Satellite Images

Media Contacts:
Patrick Slattery, NOAA's National Weather Service Central Region, (816) 426-7621, ext. 621 or John Leslie, NOAA's National Weather Service, (301) 713-0622



This article comes from Science Blog. Copyright 2004

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