Dirty snow and warm temps aid Red River Valley snowmelt

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — The National Weather Services says any fears of an extended spring flooding season in the Red River Valley have been virtually eliminated thanks in large part to the area’s soil-stained snow.

The weather service said Monday that the area’s good flooding forecast was a strange benefit of two unwelcome weather woes — a summer drought followed by a winter season of numerous blizzards.

The lack of precipitation made the topsoil receptive to the spring thaw and the gales of winter picked up loose dirt to color the snow and make it absorb more heat than usual.

Meteorologist Amanda Lee says the dirty snow and the last week’s sun and warm temperatures are thought to have helped the snowpack disappear quickly.