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Weather Wise: Flooding Threats

Weather Wise: Flooding Threats
Posted at 5:37 PM, Apr 03, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-04 11:50:04-04

A common request these days has been for warmer temperatures. Another common request is for a slow warm-up. Well ladies and gentlemen, I'm in the promotion side of the business, not the production side and mother nature is about to grant one of those requests but not the other.

Snow and cold temperatures have lingered this year well passed many people's patience. Many areas in the state still have snow on the ground. Cold temperatures have kept the ground frozen and now the warmest temperatures so far this year are heading to Montana. Put all of the ingredients together and there's a recipe for flooding.

With rising temperatures and hard, frozen, snow-covered ground, runoff from melting snow can quickly become a flood threat. During cooler springs like the one Montana currently is experiencing, the ground tends to stay frozen for longer, making it more difficult for runoff to seep into the ground. This allows for runoff to move faster toward homes and into bodies of water, accelerating flooding.

One cubic foot of snow contains approximately two to three gallons of water. While this warm-up does not come with heavy precipitation, there's plenty of water in the snow.

Most likely creeks and rivers will see an increase in flow. Low laying areas will see a buildup of water or ponding. Right now, minor flooding is possible. Use this time to prepare, to clean drains and culverts. Watch the kids and pets around cold, swift-moving water. And remember, if you encounter water over a road surface, "turn around, do not drown" as it is often difficult to determine the depth of the water and if the road has been washed away.