Tuesday, April 14, 2009

2009 flood second or third worst on record

The province released its latest flood statement today, and it indicates that this year’s flood in the Red River valley will likely rival 1979 as the second or third worst flood on record in portions of the river valley. Rainfall of about 10-15 mm Sunday and Monday, plus a rapid snowmelt on still frozen ground has increased tributary flows into the Red river causing higher water levels on the Red. Last week, the province was projecting flood crests at 2006 levels, but the recent mild wet weather has required a revision upward. These levels are still below the record flood of 1997, but make the 2009 flood one of the worst on record in the past 100 years. Compounding the high river levels have been serious ice jamming problems, particularly north of Winnipeg where significant damage to homes and properties has occurred due to flooding and ice floes.


  1. Rob!
    How much rainfall could we see in the red river valley for later this week???
    Will this storm have any convective potential ???

  2. Latest model guidance suggests 5-10 mm Thursday into Friday across RRV. Ensembles have been trending drier, so I don't think we'll be looking at heavier amounts than this. Main energy and convective potential with this system will be well south of us over central/southern plain states.

    By the way, the Nipher snow shield was scheduled to be removed from the YWG airport station today. Up to now, rainfall readings from YWG airport have been about double actual values thanks to overcatchment from the Nipher shield. Other sites like YPG (Portage) and YDN (Dauphin) still have Nipher shields on, and will overestimate rainfall until the shields are removed. (hopefully soon)

  3. If we do get to 20 C tomorrow is that gonna break any temperature records in the Winnipeg area or southern Manitoba????

  4. Record highs for Winnipeg are now in the mid to upper 20s, and by April 20th are generally near or over 30 degrees. So 20C for this time of year is nothing extraordinary. By the way, I have my doubts about reaching that 20C tomorrow.. airmass is similar to today, but we'll have more cloud.. so I'm thinking 15-17C at best..

  5. According to flood forecasts this flood will now be the SECOND worst flood in the past 100 years in parts of southern Manitoba!!!!

  6. Rob

    I was sure there was a contest to predict the flood level/Flow in Wpg
    "With a lot of luck and evaporation, Manitoba Forecasters are predicting that 120000 will become 82500 cfs when it reaches the Wpg floodway "
    1:19 PM, March 26, 2009

    My crystal ball predicts there will not be a prize for this.

  7. Today the forecast high (11:00 am update) is only 13 C.

    A big change from the 20 C they were calling for yesterday!

  8. Judging by the comments on this website no one is surprised by the latest flood forecasts only the official ones made in late March and earlier April.

    When will flood forecasters quit blaming and start assuming late spring rains in El Nina years

    When was the last El Nina spring with record amounts of Pcpn still on the ground in late March thruout the RR Basin that did not produce a Rapid April Melt and a top 3 worst flood.

    ND had 300% to 600% of normal Winter Pcpn AND Record wet Oct and March. The northern RR Froze last fall at record high levels and thicknesses Wpg had to use the floodway twice last November for the first time.?.

    I believe we are very fortunate not to have had another 1997.

  9. I apologize for a bad choice of word. We aren't in any way "fortunate" but it could easily have been worse. As a direct consequense however it should produce improved flood forecasting in the future.

  10. The main question for overnite period is precip amounts. We will likely not get more than a few sprinkles by the looks of things...

    Instability parameters not impressive in warm/moist advection region of northern stream disturbance. Best mid level deformation axis will remain north of the surface low track in the northern interlake area.

    Main Colorado low will stay well south of us and affect the central plains... Therefore I do not expect any significant rain this weekend. The next shot at precip comes early next as a disturbance drops in from the NW.

  11. Monitor updated river levels in the city:


    It updates every few minutes, so just refresh the page for updated info from all river level detection sites

  12. Does anyone know how long the site has been up..

    They have been part of the contoversey for the past week or more. The city of Winnipeg site would show higher levels just as the late aft provincial release of 9am data and stated the RR in Wpg would recede or would never again reach the mornings levels.

    I have converted several to .pdf in the past week as their does not seem to be any other way to obtain a timely record.

  13. Environment Canada is calling for
    23C on Wednesday....
    Rob....do you see those temperatures being possible????

    If so then break out the sunscreen and the shorts!!!

  14. EC the eternal optimist. If its any help the Water temp just south of Grand Forks at Halstad is up to 10C today and has risen 1C per day for the last week. (no I dont think it will continue at that rate)

  15. Current GLB and GFS models show a surface low around Dauphin by Wednesday evening, with a southerly flow over Winnpeg and RRV advecting +8 to +10C 850 mb temps over us. That would support 18-20C for us, while southwest MB would be in the best position to see 20-25C temps as 850 temps rise to 15C in the far southwest, along with sunshine and a favourable W-SW surface flow in those areas.

    Bottom line.. 23C seems a bit of a reach for Winnipeg Wednesday, but SW MB likely has a good shot. Regardless,it will be a lot nicer than this overcast +1C stuff!

  16. A golf question Rob....How much wind with those temps.....Will Breezy Bend be playable or will we have to go to Morden or Killarney LOL

  17. Current models suggest Wednesday would have gusty southerly winds in Winnipeg and the Red River valley.. perhaps 30 gusting 50 km/h.