Snowmelt likely won’t mitigate drought conditions in the areaPublished 5:10pm Saturday, March 9, 2013
Severely dry grounds may be itching for soothing snowmelt as spring approaches, but they likely won’t get much relief for now, according to a National Weather Service hydrologist.
“It’s not going to hurt, but I don’t think it’s going to be a great help at this point,” said Mike Welvaert.
Welvaert added southeastern Minnesota is one of the least snow-covered areas in the state, and what does melt won’t be able to penetrate the 1 to 3 feet of frost depth. That means much of the melt will pool in areas and run into rivers, causing streams to rise. Welvaert isn’t too concerned about flooding, though.
Welvaert expected weekend rains to melt just less than an inch of snow. Then, potential snow on Sunday could cover wet, freezing ground and cause for slippery conditions.
NWS forecasts March to be cooler than normal through mid-month, as well.
“We’re not expecting any big warm-ups to cause big melts,” Welvaert said.
Weather experts aren’t yet concerned about flooding near the Mississippi, either. In light of the snow melt, through, March 18 through 22 will be Flood Awareness Week.