The latest flood outlook for western North Dakota brings much-needed good news for flood-weary residents of cities along the Souris River, including Minot.
The National Weather Service's latest outlook, released Thursday, classifies the risk of widespread spring flooding as below normal in western North Dakota. The Souris River is, at this time, expected to remain below flood stage in Minot.
The forecast also said drought conditions have expanded across the state because of a "surprisingly dry" winter.
The "surprisingly dry" winter has been exactly what Minot and other flooded cities needed. The unseasonably warm and dry weather has allowed work to continue essentially nonstop all winter as homeowners and businessowners work to repair and refurbish flooded structures in the Souris River Basin. No doubt there are homeowners who are back living in their homes because there wasn't usual winter weather to halt construction.
Certainly we know that flood projections and outlooks are subject to change, given the state's history of quick-changing weather conditions. But, at least for now, the news of a below normal chance of flooding is welcome indeed.