Things are looking a lot better in the upper Missouri River basin states than they did last year at this time—in terms of the possibility for later flooding in Missouri. The Corps of Engineers relies on information from the National Climate Prediction Center and climatologists such as Dennis Todey (toddy), who says the snow on the North Dakota and Montana prairies are nowhere near where it was last year. And the mountain snow accumulation is about average or below average. But it’s still early in the snowfall season in those upstream states.
Todey says the ground is dry in those areas too, meaning the soil can absorb more snowmelt that the already-wet soils were able to absorb last year.
All of that means that if the trend continues, less water is likely to run into Missouri River upstream reservoirs when the snow starts to melt.
Last spring, the snowmelt runoff set records, forcing the Corps to release record amounts of water from upstream reservoirs. Heavy rains below the lowest impoundment led to the longest flood in recorded Missouri River history. .
The Corps of Engineers is watching those reports carefully..Officials say the Corps will stay flexible in its flood control efforts through the spring as conditions change. \
The Corps already has cancelled its two spring pulses for the river. It says there will be enough water for a full navigation season.