The US Army Corps of Engineers Weighs In on Drought Conditions

Mar 14, 2013

Current conditions place the upper Missouri River Basin in severe and exceptional drought.

Kevin Stamm, Senior Engineer for the US Army Corps of Engineers, discussed the updated 2013 runoff forecast during the Corps’ monthly conference call Tuesday. 

He said the current drought conditions, as described by the National Drought Mitigation Center, place the upper Missouri River Basin from southern Montana to southern North Dakota in severe to exceptional drought. 

But, Stamm said the drought outlook is forecasting some improvement in Montana, the Dakotas, and Nebraska, with drought persisting in Wyoming.

"As of March 1st, we are forecasting 20 million acre feet of runoff above Sioux City, which is 81% of normal.  This is a slight increase of .1 million acre feet from the February forecast.  A number of factors were considered in determining this runoff forecast, including current drought conditions, soil moisture conditions, mountain snowpack, plains snowpack and the climate prediction center’s long range climate prediction outlook.”

The US Army Corps of Engineers conducted a spillway flow test for repair and rehabilitation yesterday at Gavins Point Dam. 

Because of the test, Omaha will see a rise in the river today. 

The approximate maximum stage increase will be 2.6 feet.