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Weather will determine Knife River flood levels

2/25/10 (Thu)

According to the National Weather Service, the question isn’t whether or not the Knife River will flood this spring, it is will the river get high enough to cause significant damage.

Predicting floods is fraught with uncertainty, especially weeks or months before the winter ice starts to break up. But Allan Schlag, a service hydrologist with the NWS, knows one thing – there is a lot of water in the snow across North Dakota this winter. Up until the most recent flood potential update, the weather service had been working with radar and remote sensing equipment to estimate the amount of snow and its water content. Now reports are coming in from NWS cooperative observers who have gone out to measure the snow and melt it to measure the water content.