293  
FGUS73 KBIS 261802  
ESFBIS  
NDC009-013-023-049-069-075-079-101-281815-  
 
PROBABILISTIC HYDROLOGIC OUTLOOK  
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BISMARCK ND  
1202 PM CST THU JAN 26 2023  
   
..FLOOD AND WATER RESOURCES OUTLOOK
 
 
 
THIS FLOOD AND WATER RESOURCES OUTLOOK IS FOR THE SOURIS RIVER BASIN  
OF NORTH DAKOTA, COVERING THE PERIOD OF 30 JANUARY THROUGH 30 APRIL,  
2023. THIS OUTLOOK IS A ROUTINE RELEASE OF THE MONTHLY PROBABILITIES  
FOR FLOODING OVER THE NEXT 90 DAYS. THESE PROBABILITIES ARE UPDATED  
ON, OR NEAR, THE FOURTH THURSDAY OF EACH MONTH.  
 
THE FOLLOWING MESSAGE HAS FOUR SECTIONS. THE FIRST PROVIDES SOME  
TEXT ON THE HIGHLIGHTS OF THIS OUTLOOK AND CONDITIONS AFFECTING THE  
LOCAL HYDROLOGY. THE SECOND SECTION GIVES THE CURRENT AND  
NORMAL/HISTORICAL RISKS OF FLOODING AS DETERMINED BY THE ENSEMBLE  
STREAMFLOW FORECAST MODEL OF THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE. THE THIRD  
SECTION GIVES THE CURRENT PROBABILITIES FOR REACHING FLOOD STAGE AT  
THE LISTED FORECAST LOCATIONS. AND FINALLY, THE FOURTH SECTION  
COVERS THE RISK OF THE RIVER SITES FALLING BELOW THE LISTED STAGES.  
   
..FLOOD OUTLOOK HIGHLIGHTS
 
THE EARLY 30-60 DAYS OF THIS OUTLOOK,  
COVERING FEBRUARY AND MARCH, ARE TRADITIONALLY QUIET WITH RESPECT TO  
FLOODING, BUT THE LAST 30 DAYS OF THIS OUTLOOK COVERS LATE MARCH  
THROUGH APRIL, WHICH INCLUDES MUCH OF THE TRADITIONAL SPRING MELT  
SEASON. THEREFORE, THE PROBABILITIES ASSIGNED TO FLOOD RISK SHOULD  
BE CONSIDERED PRIMARILY ASSOCIATED WITH LATE MARCH AND EARLY APRIL.  
 
OVERALL, THE FLOOD RISK WITHIN THE SOURIS RIVER BASIN OF NORTH  
DAKOTA ARE A MIX OF SLIGHTLY BELOW NORMAL TO SLIGHTLY ABOVE NORMAL  
PROBABILITIES. FLOOD RISK IS BELOW NORMAL NEAR SHERWOOD WHERE THE  
SOURIS RIVER FLOWS INTO NORTH DAKOTA. HOWEVER, FLOOD RISK STEADILY  
INCREASES TO NEAR NORMAL IN THE MINOT AREA AND CONTINUES TO INCREASE  
TO SLIGHTLY ABOVE NORMAL AS ONE NEARS THE TOWNER AND BANTRY GAGES ON  
THE SOURIS RIVER. OTHER FORECAST POINTS, INCLUDING THE WINTERING  
RIVER NEAR KARLSRUHE AND WILLOW CREEK NEAR WILLOW CITY ARE ALSO NEAR  
NORMAL TO SLIGHTLY ABOVE NORMAL. THE PATTERN OF RISK REFLECTS THE  
SNOW-WATER EQUIVALENT (SWE) OF THE LOCAL SNOWPACK. ONE OF THE  
IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS IN DETERMINING FLOOD RISK ARE SOIL  
CONDITIONS. THE SOIL BENEATH THE SNOWPACK IS WIDELY CONSIDERED  
EXCEPTIONALLY DRY AND GENERALLY WARMER THAN NORMAL. THE WARM AND DRY  
SOILS UNDERNEATH THE SNOWPACK WILL ALLOW INFILTRATION OF MELTWATER  
AND SUBSTANTIALLY REDUCE RUNOFF DURING ALL BUT AN EXTREME MELT  
PATTERN THIS SPRING. THIS SUGGESTS THAT THE ALWAYS IMPORTANT MELT  
PATTERN WILL BE EVEN MORE CRITICAL THIS YEAR IN DETERMINING THE  
FRACTION OF MELTWATER THAT WILL INFILTRATE INTO THE SOIL, AND HOW  
MUCH WILL TURN INTO RUNOFF AND FIND ITS WAY INTO LOCAL RIVERS AND  
STREAMS.  
 
ALL THAT BEING SAID, ONE SHOULD REMEMBER THAT THE REGION IS ROUGHLY  
HALFWAY THROUGH THE SNOW ACCUMULATION SEASON AND OVERALL SWE CONTENT  
CAN SIGNIFICANTLY CHANGE DURING THE MONTHS OF FEBRUARY AND MARCH.  
BECAUSE FLOOD RISK CAN EVOLVE RATHER QUICKLY OVER THE COMING WEEKS,  
THESE FLOOD RISKS WILL BE UPDATED ON FEBRUARY 9TH, 2023 AS A PART OF  
THE SPRING FLOOD AND WATER RESOURCES OUTLOOKS, AND EVERY TWO WEEKS  
THEREAFTER UNTIL WE ARE BACK ON TRACK WITH THE NORMAL MONTHLY  
RELEASE OF THESE PROBABILITIES ON THE FOURTH THURSDAY OF MARCH.  
   
..SNOWPACK CONDITIONS
 
 
SNOWPACK ACROSS THE SOURIS RIVER BASIN IS NOT VERY UNIFORM. IN  
GENERAL, THE HEADWATERS AREA OF SASKATCHEWAN IS BELOW TO NEAR NORMAL  
IN SWE WITH AN OVERALL VALUE OF SOMETHING LESS THAN TWO INCHES.  
SNOWPACK AND SWE CONTENT TENDS TO INCREASE TO NEAR NORMAL WHERE THE  
SOURIS RIVER FLOWS INTO NORTH DAKOTA NEAR SHERWOOD, AND CONTINUES TO  
INCREASE THE FARTHER DOWNSTREAM ONE LOOKS UNTIL IT IS GENERALLY  
ABOVE NORMAL EAST OF MINOT WHERE FOUR INCHES OF SWE IS BELIEVED TO  
EXIST IN LOCALIZED AREAS.  
   
..CURRENT DROUGHT CONDITIONS
 
 
DESPITE A NEAR NORMAL SNOWPACK IN THE UPPER PORTION OF THE SOURIS  
RIVER BASIN OF NORTH DAKOTA AND ABOVE NORMAL SWE CONTENT IN THE  
EASTERN AND SOUTHERN PART OF THE BASIN, THE BASIN WIDE MODERATE  
DROUGHT (D1) DESIGNATION HAS HELD STEADY THIS WINTER. DEPENDING ON  
HOW THE SPRING MELT UNFOLDS, IT IS POSSIBLE WE WILL SEE RAPID  
IMPROVEMENT IN THE DROUGHT DESIGNATIONS IN RESPONSE TO ADEQUATE  
STREAMFLOW AND SUBSTANTIAL REPLENISHMENT OF SOIL MOISTURE.  
   
..RESERVOIRS AND NATURAL WETLANDS
 
 
LAKE DARLING ABOVE MINOT ALONG WITH THE CANADIAN RESERVOIRS BEHIND  
GRANT DEVINE AND RAFFERTY DAMS HAVE NEAR NORMAL TO SOMEWHAT BELOW  
NORMAL WATER LEVELS FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR. THE SAME CAN BE SAID FOR  
MOST WETLANDS AND NATURAL BODIES OF WATER AS THE DRIER THAN NORMAL  
LATTER HALF OF SUMMER AND EARLY FALL TOOK A TOLL ON WATER LEVELS IN  
2022.  
   
..SOIL CONDITIONS
 
 
SOILS ACROSS THE BASIN ARE QUITE DRY. ALONG WITH THE SOILS BEING  
DRY, THE INSULATING EFFECT OF THE EARLY SNOW HAS KEPT THE SOILS  
UNDER THE SNOW WARMER THAN ONE WOULD EXPECT BASED ON THE RECENT COLD  
WEATHER. THIS WILL HELP THE SOILS MINIMIZE RUNOFF FROM MELTWATER  
GENERATED UNDER ALL BUT THE MOST EXTREME OF MELT CONDITIONS.  
   
..WEATHER OUTLOOK
 
 
AS WE NEAR THE END OF JANUARY, THE 6-10, 8-14, AND WEEKS 3-4  
OUTLOOKS ALL STRONGLY FAVOR COOLER THAN NORMAL TEMPERATURES WHILE  
SLIGHTLY FAVORING BELOW NORMAL PRECIPITATION. THE 3-MONTH OUTLOOKS,  
COVERING FEBRUARY, MARCH AND APRIL, ALSO FAVOR BELOW NORMAL  
TEMPERATURES WITH A SLIGHT FAVORING OF ABOVE NORMAL PRECIPITATION. A  
COOLER THAN NORMAL PATTERN SUGGESTS THE REGION MAY SEE A SOMEWHAT  
LATER THAN NORMAL SPRING MELT SEASON AND SHOULD HELP ENSURE EXISTING  
AND FUTURE SWE WILL BE RESERVED FOR THE SPRING MELT SEASON. THIS  
WOULD BE CONSISTENT WITH THE EXPECTATION THAT THE REGION WILL GO  
INTO THE SPRING MELT SEASON WITH A NEAR NORMAL TO SOMEWHAT ABOVE  
NORMAL SWE CONTENT IN THE SNOWPACK.  
   
..ICE CONDITIONS
 
 
ALL SMALL LAKES AND WETLANDS ARE COVERED WITH ICE NOW OF VARIABLE  
THICKNESS. LAKES WITH SUBSTANTIAL SNOW COVER ARE LIKELY TO HAVE  
THINNER ICE DUE TO THE INSULATING EFFECT OF THE DEEPER SNOW.  
 
IN TABLE 1 BELOW, THE CURRENT (CS) AND HISTORICAL (HS) OR NORMAL  
PROBABILITIES OF EXCEEDING MINOR...MODERATE...AND MAJOR FLOOD STAGE  
ARE LISTED FOR THE VALID TIME PERIOD.  
 
CS VALUES INDICATE THE PROBABILITY OF REACHING A FLOOD CATEGORY  
BASED ON CURRENT CONDITIONS.  
 
HS VALUES INDICATE THE PROBABILITY OF REACHING A FLOOD CATEGORY  
BASED ON HISTORICAL OR NORMAL CONDITIONS.  
 
WHEN THE VALUE OF CS IS GREATER THAN HS...THE PROBABILITY OF  
EXCEEDING THAT LEVEL IS HIGHER THAN NORMAL. WHEN THE VALUE OF CS IS  
LESS THAN HS...THE PROBABILITY OF EXCEEDING THAT LEVEL IS LOWER  
THAN NORMAL.  
   
..TABLE 1--PROBABILITIES FOR MINOR...MODERATE AND MAJOR FLOODING
 
 
 
VALID PERIOD: 01/30/2023 - 04/30/2023  
: CURRENT AND HISTORICAL  
: CHANCES OF EXCEEDING  
: FLOOD CATEGORIES  
: AS A PERCENTAGE (%)  
CATEGORICAL :  
FLOOD STAGES (FT) : MINOR MODERATE MAJOR  
LOCATION MINOR MOD MAJOR : CS HS CS HS CS HS  
-------- ----- ----- ----- : --- --- --- --- --- ---  
:DES LACS  
FOXHOLM 1651.0 1653.0 1654.0 : <5 <5 <5 <5 <5 <5  
:SOURIS  
SHERWOOD 1623.0 1625.0 1630.0 : <5 10 <5 5 <5 <5  
FOXHOLM 1573.0 1576.0 1578.0 : 30 28 8 12 <5 <5  
MINOT 1562.0 1565.0 1570.0 : 10 13 8 6 <5 <5  
MINOT 1551.0 1553.0 1557.0 : 7 <5 <5 <5 <5 <5  
LOGAN 1536.0 1538.0 1540.0 : 21 16 7 <5 <5 <5  
SAWYER 1524.0 1526.0 1528.0 : 8 7 <5 <5 <5 <5  
VELVA 1507.0 1512.0 1517.0 : 15 13 <5 <5 <5 <5  
:WINTERING  
KARLSRUHE 1509.0 1511.0 1512.0 : 27 13 <5 <5 <5 <5  
:SOURIS  
TOWNER 1454.0 1456.0 1458.0 : 77 51 37 21 <5 <5  
BANTRY 1440.0 1441.0 1443.0 : 78 51 62 35 6 8  
:WILLOW CREEK  
WILLOW CITY 1442.0 1446.0 1448.0 : 46 46 7 19 <5 <5  
:SOURIS  
WESTHOPE 1414.0 1418.0 1420.0 : 26 47 <5 18 <5 16  
 
LEGEND  
CS = CONDITIONAL SIMULATION (CURRENT OUTLOOK)  
HS = HISTORICAL SIMULATION  
FT = FEET  
 
IN TABLE 2 BELOW...THE 95 THROUGH 5 PERCENT COLUMNS INDICATE THE  
PROBABILITY OF EXCEEDING THE LISTED STAGE LEVELS (FT) FOR THE VALID  
TIME PERIOD.  
   
..TABLE 2--EXCEEDANCE PROBABILITIES
 
 
CHANCE OF EXCEEDING STAGES  
AT SPECIFIC LOCATIONS  
VALID PERIOD: 01/30/2023 - 04/30/2023  
 
LOCATION 95% 90% 75% 50% 25% 10% 5%  
-------- ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------  
:DES LACS  
FOXHOLM 1641.4 1641.8 1642.6 1643.7 1646.6 1648.3 1650.8  
:SOURIS  
SHERWOOD 1610.6 1611.2 1612.6 1615.9 1619.8 1621.2 1622.4  
FOXHOLM 1570.4 1570.5 1570.8 1571.0 1573.1 1575.7 1576.7  
MINOT 1554.1 1554.5 1554.8 1556.3 1559.3 1562.0 1566.2  
MINOT 1542.8 1543.1 1543.3 1544.0 1545.3 1547.4 1551.5  
LOGAN 1526.6 1527.4 1527.9 1530.1 1535.0 1537.1 1538.2  
SAWYER 1512.1 1513.0 1513.6 1516.5 1520.7 1523.1 1525.1  
VELVA 1496.1 1497.0 1497.9 1502.0 1506.0 1507.8 1509.4  
:WINTERING  
KARLSRUHE 1505.8 1506.1 1507.2 1508.4 1509.0 1509.6 1510.0  
:SOURIS  
TOWNER 1452.9 1453.3 1454.1 1455.5 1456.5 1457.1 1457.6  
BANTRY 1438.8 1439.2 1440.1 1441.4 1442.1 1442.6 1443.1  
:WILLOW CREEK  
WILLOW CITY 1437.8 1438.0 1438.7 1441.0 1444.2 1445.2 1446.6  
:SOURIS  
WESTHOPE 1411.5 1411.7 1412.3 1413.4 1414.1 1416.2 1417.4  
 
IN TABLE 3 BELOW...THE 95 THROUGH 5 PERCENT COLUMNS INDICATE THE  
PROBABILITY OF FALLING BELOW THE LISTED STAGE LEVELS (FT) FOR  
THE VALID TIME PERIOD.  
   
..TABLE 3--NONEXCEEDANCE PROBABILITIES
 
 
CHANCE OF FALLING BELOW STAGES  
AT SPECIFIC LOCATIONS  
VALID PERIOD: 01/30/2023 - 04/30/2023  
 
LOCATION 95% 90% 75% 50% 25% 10% 5%  
-------- ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------  
:DES LACS  
FOXHOLM 1638.7 1638.6 1638.6 1638.6 1638.6 1638.6 1638.6  
:SOURIS  
SHERWOOD 1606.3 1606.3 1606.2 1606.2 1606.2 1606.2 1606.2  
FOXHOLM 1566.8 1566.8 1566.5 1566.5 1566.5 1566.5 1566.5  
MINOT 1551.0 1550.9 1550.8 1550.8 1550.6 1550.6 1550.6  
MINOT 1541.4 1541.3 1541.2 1541.2 1541.1 1541.1 1541.1  
LOGAN 1520.5 1520.2 1520.0 1519.9 1519.9 1519.8 1519.8  
SAWYER 1507.7 1507.4 1506.7 1506.7 1506.7 1506.6 1506.6  
VELVA 1491.2 1490.9 1490.2 1490.2 1490.2 1490.2 1490.2  
:WINTERING  
KARLSRUHE 1503.0 1503.0 1503.0 1503.0 1503.0 1503.0 1503.0  
:SOURIS  
TOWNER 1444.4 1444.4 1444.4 1444.4 1444.4 1444.4 1444.4  
BANTRY 1430.3 1430.3 1430.2 1430.2 1430.2 1430.2 1430.2  
:WILLOW CREEK  
WILLOW CITY 1436.1 1436.1 1436.1 1436.1 1436.1 1436.1 1436.1  
:SOURIS  
WESTHOPE 1409.8 1409.5 1409.2 1409.0 1408.9 1408.9 1408.9  
 
THESE LONG-RANGE PROBABILISTIC OUTLOOKS CONTAIN FORECAST VALUES THAT  
ARE CALCULATED USING MULTIPLE SEASON SCENARIOS FROM 30 OR MORE YEARS  
OF CLIMATOLOGICAL DATA...INCLUDING CURRENT CONDITIONS OF THE  
RIVER...SOIL MOISTURE...SNOW COVER AND 30 TO 90 DAY LONG-RANGE  
OUTLOOKS OF TEMPERATURE AND PRECIPITATION. BY PROVIDING A RANGE  
OF PROBABILITIES...THE LEVEL OF RISK ASSOCIATED WITH LONG-RANGE  
PLANNING DECISIONS CAN BE DETERMINED. THESE PROBABILISTIC  
FORECASTS ARE PART OF THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE'S ADVANCED  
HYDROLOGIC PREDICTION SERVICE.  
 
VISIT OUR WEB SITE WEATHER.GOV/BIS FOR MORE WEATHER AND WATER  
INFORMATION.  
 
THE NEXT OUTLOOK WILL BE ISSUED 9 FEBRUARY, 2023.  
 

 
 
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