Rivers in the Red River Valley are beginning to loosen and rise throughout the southern part of the basin, from Fargo upstream, and soon there will be rises throughout the north as well.

Because of exceptionally dry weather since mid-January, river crests are likely to be a happy surprise for most people in the area. Without any additional significant rain, crests are likely to come in around the lowest most people would have conceived, given the probability forecasts.

However, those forecasts were not necessarily wrong. For example, the lowest probability forecast for Fargo indicated a 95 percent chance of a 32-foot crest. Since mid-January, the weather has actually been in the 98th to 99th driest percentile. So it follows that, unless it starts raining hard, river crests near or lower than the 95-percent probabilities are likely. For Fargo-Moorhead, that would indicate a crest around or even below 30 feet. Considering the preoccupation with the coronavirus, a very manageable spring flood is certainly good news.

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