Weather Alert

Forecast Runoff for Upper Missouri River Basin Lower After Warm Spring

The water runoff forecast for the Missouri River basin is down slightly this month, though still projected near record highs. 

Gavins Point releases are forecast to remain near 35,000 cubic feet per second through the month of April. 

Runoff above Sioux City, Iowa, was 5.5 million acre feet in March, which is almost two times average. 

The above-average runoff was primarily due to plains snow melting over heavily saturated soils. 

Based on current soil moisture conditions, current plains and mountain snowpack, and long-term temperature and precipitation outlooks, the 2020 calendar year upper basin runoff forecast is now 35.5 million acre feet above Sioux City, Iowa. 

Although this forecast is a reduction of 1.4 million acre feet from the March 1 forecast, it is still in the top ten percent of the 122 years of runoff record. 

Soil moisture conditions continue to be very wet in much of the upper Missouri River Basin, increasing the potential for above-average runoff in the upper basin. 

The potential for flooding remains, particularly in the lower river stretches.


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