The perfect melt

Guest post by Fred Remer, Associate Professor of Atmospheric Sciences

The conditions for a slow melt have been superb during the last two weeks.  The figure below shows the amount of precipitation over eastern North Dakota and northern Minnesota as a percent of normal.  The southern Red River Valley has received 0 to 25% of its average precipitation over the last two weeks, whereas the northern Valley has received 10 to 50% of average.  The normal precipitation amount during this period is almost one-half inch.  Only three days recorded measureable precipitation in the last 14 days, and two of those were only recorded as trace.

The slightly below average temperatures have also aided in the slow melting processes.  The average high and low temperatures for April 1st are 43 and 24oF.  High temperatures over the last two weeks have ranged from 33 to 46 oF, and morning lows ranged from 5 to 31 oF, allowing for melting during the day and freezing overnight.

The forecast over the next two weeks indicates a pattern change to warmer temperatures.  This week (April 1 to 7) will see continued cool to near normal temperatures and relatively dry conditions.  The figures below indicates the following week (April 8 to 14) will see slightly above average temperatures and chances for precipitation.  The current and future conditions may result in a lowered threat level and lower probability for flooding in eastern North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota.