The National Weather Service in La Crosse recently
released its first flood outlook of the season...
and suprisingly, even with all the winter weather
we've seen this year, experts say they aren't concerned.
News 8's Brittany Schmidt breaks it down for us.
Before releasing the report, experts did take into
account the winter weather we saw yesterday.
Even with all that rain and sleet...plus the amount
of snow we already have in the area.
experts say we are at a normal flood risk for this
time of year.
If I pull this up, here's the Mississippi River at
Hydrologist Mike Welvaert with the National Weather
Service in La Crosse says the chance of flooding along
the Mississippi River this spring is relatively low.
It shows it was about 5 feet, rising just a little
bit in the last couple of days but that's not very
According to the outlook report, the Mississippi River
in La Crosse has a 95 percent chance of reaching more
than 9 feet, which is to be expected.
However, it only has a 25 percent chance of reaching
the flood level stage, which is 12 feet.
If we do experience any flooding, it does look like
it will be of the minor variety.
One of the major factors is the type of snow we've
been dealing with.
There's not a lot of water content in the current
snow that's out there now, it's more of a dry light
However, Welvaert says it all depends on one thing...how
fast the snow melts...
If we warm up in to the sixties, the snow will met
very quickly and translate into a lot of water quickly.
If we have a real slow melt like we did last year
and even the year before that, it melted off rather
then the risk for flooding is much lower.
Forecaster Jeff Boyne with the National Weather Service
in La Crosse says we are right on trend for that to
We may have something like we saw last spring where
the temps warmed up above freezing during the day,
and then reforze at night so we were able to let small
portions of the water melt, flow into the streams,
flow away from the area and then refreeze at night.
But if the cool temperatures stick around too long,
it could cause some problems.
If we do continue to hold onto the snow longer and
longer and longer out through March, that increases
the likelihood that we will see a rapid warmup and
the rapid warmups are what really get us every year
so we'll have to watch out for that.
In La Crosse, Brittany Schmidt, News 8.
In our area, experts say we experience two flood seasons
in the Spring.
The first is usually in March, when the melted snow
runs off into the smaller tributary streams...which
then runs into the Mississippi and is carried away
The second one is in April, when all the snow melts
north of us and travels down the Mississippi towards
The National Weather Service in La Crosse will be
releasing it's second flood outlook in about two weeks
on March sixth.