NOAA Flight Assesses Snow Impact - - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

NOAA Flight Assesses Snow Impact

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The management of the dams is based on estimates of the water content of the snow in the river's watershed.

The most recent estimate was made in late March.

But last weekend, a major storm dumped snow across the southern part of the Mouse River.

And today, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration was flying over the river's drainage area, collecting data for a new estimate.

KX News was on board that flight that covered territory in both the United States and Canada.

(Lt John Rossi, NOAA Aircraft Operations Center) "We collect the data over the course of the flight. At the conclusion of the flight we send the snow moisture and snow equivalent values back to the office and they call it a real time model that we create. It is a few hours old but it's the most current information that you can get as far as reliable moisture values across the northern half of the country. Really the entire country."

Tomorrow, Shaun Sipma will have a report on HOW the scientists collect the water equivalent information used in estimating runoff.

And, NOAA will be reporting the data to the Corps of Engineers as early as tomorrow as well.

Corps officials have said that information may lead to a change in the management plans for the river.

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