Southern Minnesota’s flood outlook

KEYC News Now at 6 Recording
Published: Jan. 17, 2023 at 6:48 PM CST
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - With the scales of precipitation balancing back to normal, how much precipitation is too much?

“If you recall we haven’t had much flooding across southern Minnesota. Going back to prior to the pandemic, we haven’t really had to talk about excessive river levels,” said KEYC’s meteorologist, Josh Eckl.

Meteorologist Tyler Hasenstein, with the National Weather Service, believes that the above average precipitation ensures area droughts are no longer of concern.

“So, we have a pretty significant amount of moisture settled within that snowpack, and that is more than enough to mitigate whatever lasting drought conditions we had going into the winter,” said Hasenstein.

“The river levels are going to be able to hold a much of this snowfall and rainfall that we’ve seen over this winter because of those drought conditions,” explained Eckl.

Hasenstein said there is a chance we’ll see some pretty significant flooding, and it really depends on how the second half of the winter and early spring goes. The rate of snowfall melt will be the variable in this kind of situation.

“If that ground is still frozen that snow melts really quickly, and then on top of that, we see these above average precipitation rates that we’ve been seeing into the winter, so far that’s going to be aiding in the rising of these river levels and that’s going to push the flood concerns back to maybe a concerning level,” explained Eckl.

As it stands now, the chance for flooding in the Spring is at 5%.