River forecasters say Alaska flood threat moderate

May 06, 2013 -- 11:30am


- ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - The National Weather Service lists the threat of spring flooding along Alaska rivers as "moderate" for most of the state but warns that a sudden surge of warm May temperatures could lead to ice jams and high water. The latest monthly forecast released Sunday is based on river ice thickness, snowpack and projected weather. Hydrologist Scott Lindsey says weather will be the most critical factor. He says atmospheric models were in agreement for Alaska's colder-than-normal April but now go in different directions. An ideal scenario would be gradual warming to let river ice erode as snowmelt enters rivers. Lindsey says dynamic breakups with the highest chance for ice jams and flooding occur when a cold April is followed by sudden above-normal temperatures in May.

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