The U.S National Weather Service now says a major flood along the Red River at Pembina, N.D. is all but certain this spring, a prediction that strongly suggests Manitoban communities along the river will be heading into yet another significant flood fight.
The National Weather Service's Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service says there is a 96 per cent chance of flooding at Pembina, the border community near Emerson, Man., at some point over the next two months, based on conditions observed on Monday.
The National Weather Service also pegged the chance of major flooding at Grand Forks at 50 per cent, while the chance of major flooding at Fargo is 98 per cent.
The reason for the variance is the Red River's capacity is relatively small at Fargo but widens considerably below Grand Forks, where the Red Lake River drains into the Red. The Pembina River flows into the Red south of Pembina, N.D., adding snowmelt from south-central Manitoba.
The Pembina prediction alone suggests Manitoba communities such as Morris may in fact be forced to close their ring dikes this spring, as Manitoban officials mused earlier this week.
For now, officials on both sides of the border are expecting a Red River flood to crest higher than 2011 but lower than 2009.
A more complete Manitoba flood update is due next week. It will include an outlook for the Assiniboine River basin, which includes the Souris and Qu'Appelle rivers.