NEW ULM - New Ulm has a high probability of dodging spring flooding altogether this year, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). Similarly, cities along Minnesota's rivers have reduced flooding chances this spring.
The NWS outlook states the reduced flooding is caused by the severe lack of snow during the first half of this winter. In Minnesota, the Minnesota, Mississippi and St. Croix rivers have very low flood risk. Significant and widespread precipitation late this winter or spring would be required to offset the low levels of the rivers.
Notably, even the flood-prone cities of Montevideo and Granite Falls have their likelihood of spring flooding 20 percent below normal chances. Normal flooding chances typically have a low probability of flooding.
The Minnesota River is covered with a light layer of snow now, but spring flooding chances are down significantly due to a lack of snow for most of winter. New Ulm’s location on the river is 40 percent below the normally low probability of flooding for this year.
Regionally, New Ulm has some of the lowest flooding chances in the state: 40 percent below normal chances. Mankato has normal chances of flooding, which means low probability.
NWS forecaster Joe Calderone said Spring's precipitation is an unknown right now. He said several large storm systems are colliding, making it equally possible for below normal, normal or above normal precipitation.
However, he said there is no immediate weather this month that could offset low flooding chances. He said temperatures will be higher this week and through February. He also said no snow or rain storms are projected through next month.
(Josh Moniz can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org)