NWS issues flood warning
The National Weather Service in Duluth issued a flood warning for the Mississippi River near Fort Ripley. "The abnormally warm weather has been steadily melting snow over the past several days. This in combination with up to three quarters of an ...
The National Weather Service in Duluth issued a flood warning for the Mississippi River near Fort Ripley.
"The abnormally warm weather has been steadily melting snow over the past several
days. This in combination with up to three quarters of an inch of rainfall on Monday will result in modest rises on the Mississippi River," the weather service reported Tuesday. "Water levels are forecast to reach flood stage on Friday at Fort Ripley. People with interests near area streams and rivers are encouraged to monitor the latest forecasts."
The flood warning is in effect until midnight Saturday.
As of 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, the river was at 8.4 feet. The river reaches flood stage at 10 feet. The river is forecast to rise above flood stage by early Saturday morning and continue to rise to near 10.6 feet by Monday morning. At 11 feet, the river reaches minor flooding of rural areas near Fort Ripley.
Tuesday's cloud cover appeared to put an end to the three-day streak of 50-degree days with the official temperature topping out at 49 degrees, shy of the record of 52 set in 1981. The lakes area has been above freezing for 11 days in a row with a record-setting high of 57 degrees recorded Feb. 18.
The weather service noted in the Twin Cities and St. Cloud the record for consecutive days with highs of 50 degrees or warmer are tied at six in the Twin Cities-during the remarkably warm winter days in 1981 and 1930-and five days in St. Cloud in 1981.
With the changing ice conditions the 12th annual Gull Lake Frozen Fore event Feb. 24-26 announced it would move its on-ice tent party off ice.
"This is the right choice. We are excited to put on another amazing event to raise funds for local charities," said Chris Foy, owner of Ernie's on Gull and member of Gull Lake Promotions, in a news release. The new tent location will be 1 mile north of the previous location of Hole-in- the-Day bay on the old flea market lot on the west side of Highway 371. The 2016 event raised $45,000 for local charities, Confidence Learning Center and Kids Against Hunger-Brainerd Lakes Area.
It should feel a bit more like winter this weekend as temperatures fall back to normal highs. A winter storm is anticipated to impact the Midwest at the end of the week although forecast models are not yet convinced of the path. Initial expectations were for a small snowfall in central Minnesota with the southeastern portion of the state and Wisconsin bearing the brunt of the snowfall. As of Tuesday, models indicated the storm may be trending northward to bring more snow to northern Wisconsin.
The weather service in Duluth reported the snowfall for the Brainerd lakes area continues to be in the 1-2 inch range but a more definitive forecast will come later in the week. More snow showers are expected Sunday with a quick-moving system and a potential warmup may follow, but that is too early to call with confidence, said William Mokry, meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Duluth. Winter storm watches have already been issued for southern Minnesota counties and counties in the metro area.
But before the snow arrives, expect another warm day as today's high is anticipated to reach 49 degrees. Thursday will begin a cool down but remain mild at 37 degrees. Snow may begin to arrive Thursday night. Friday's high is expected to be below freezing with potential snow. Once the weather system moves out expect sunny skies and highs in the upper 20s for the weekend events. By early next week temperatures may be in the mid-30s again.
With this last streak of unseasonably warm weather, Mokry said a handful of record highs were set recently in the Duluth region. Looking more specifically at the southern portion of the state Minnesota Public Radio this week noted a University of Minnesota calculation of 197 new high temperature records set across the state Feb.17-19.
Even with additional snow with this approaching storm, the National Weather Service remains confident the flooding along the Mississippi River at Fort Ripley will remain in the minor flood range. The weather service is also watching the river in Aitkin. Mokry noted reports of standing water in Brainerd yards being absorbed into the soil was a good sign and beneficial in terms of easing flooding worries.