There’s no question this last segment of winter has become the harshest part of the season so far, much like last year. As we tally the numbers and calculate the moisture ahead, there are a number of issues to watch.
First, the past 30 days of moisture clearly shows the abundance of precipitation. This time of year marks the beginning of our ramp up into spring. We are clearly off to a head start and still are dealing with all the water in the ground from last year.
Second, our snow pack is clearly a big story. The latest numbers indicate 42 inches on the ground in Britton. Marshall has 32 inches, Pipestone is at 30 inches. Milbank, Watertown, Worthington, and Aberdeen all report between 20 to 26 inches of snow depth. Sioux Falls stands out on the low end at just 13 inches.
A forward look into the future does not offer any relief. In fact, a word to the wise would be to watch the development of the next two storm systems. The Gulf of Mexico moisture supply appears to be more than enough to support another 1-2 inches of water equivalent on top of preexisting snow here.
If that happens, it will directly affect the spring flood outlook and is a story to watch.