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Weather Talk: Red River flood unlikely this year

A Red River spring flood is almost certainly not happening this year. But if it were to happen, right about now would be the time. Spring flood crests are typically between late March and late April, usually taking two to four weeks to peak follo...

A Red River spring flood is almost certainly not happening this year. But if it were to happen, right about now would be the time.

Spring flood crests are typically between late March and late April, usually taking two to four weeks to peak following the rise of the first tributary.

There are many commonly held untruths about Red River flooding. The northward flow has nothing to do with flooding. A frozen river downstream does not back up water significantly. 

It is the shallow riverbed that is the problem. Ice damming can cause problems on tributaries and in minor floods, but has little impact in major floods.

There is no reason a summertime flood of 2009 or 1997 magnitude couldn’t happen given enough rain to saturate the soils and fill the system.

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There are many reasons for increased flooding in recent decades including agricultural land use, the straightening of ditches and tributaries, increased precipitation, and even flood control, itself. 

Related Topics: RED RIVER
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