As the week of March 21, 2011, comes to an end, the Red River hits action stage as its water rises above 17 feet. Once the river reaches action stage, the National Weather Service in Grand Forks starts issuing daily five-day forecasts.
During this week, the Tuesday night thunder-sleet-snow storm totals 8.1 inches officially in Fargo-Moorhead. This brings the area’s total for the entire winter to 82.1 inches, which ranks this winter as the fourth-snowiest winter since 1885.
The National Weather Service releases its recent projection and the newest slate of flood probabilities for the Red River basin calculates a 50 percent chance of the Red in Fargo-Moorhead exceeding 40.5 feet, a 30 percent chance of it topping 41.8 feet, and a 10 percent chance of it surpassing 44.4 feet. The Red River’s high water mark in Fargo-Moorhead is the 40.84-foot crest of 2009, followed by the 39.72-foot crest of 1997.
During this week as well, Fargo dances its way into the Final Four of The Weather Channel’s “America’s Toughest Weather City Tournament”, stomping Minneapolis-St. Paul in the tourney’s Elite 8 round. The Twin Cities didn’t stand a chance, losing to Fargo by a margin of 91.4 percent to 8.6 percent in online voting. Fargo received 14,442 votes to take the Midwest Region title. Fargo will square off next week against West Region champion Juneau, Alaska, in what The Weather Channel is describing as a “clash of cold.”