Minnesotans For Sustainability

 

Sustainable:  A society that balances the environment, other life forms, and human interactions over an indefinite time period.

 

 

 

             

Earlier in the Year Snowmelt Runoff and Increasing Dewpoints for Rivers in Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota*

                Patrick J. Neuman

                                             Table 1 & Figure 1

 

 

                       

Location of river basins for study:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Red River basin is along the boundary between North Dakota and Minnesota,  within the

Northern Great Plains,  and within the headwaters area to Hudson Bay.  The St. Louis River is

near Duluth, Minnesota, within the Upper Midwest and within the headwaters to Lake Superior. 

The St. Croix River is along the boundary between Minnesota and Wisconsin, northwest of Eau

Claire, Wisconsin, within the Upper Midwest, and within the headwaters to the Mississippi River.

 

 

 

Table 1.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Data are Julian Days for the

 

 

Excel Data Sheet for Figure 1

 

Beginning Day of annual snowmelt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Terminology:

Year

Fargo

Scanlon

St Cr fls

 

 

 

 

 

 

1902

 msg

msg

79

 

 

 

 

 

Mean daily flow is the amount of water

1903

msg

msg

78

 

 

 

 

 

that passes a river station during

1904

msg

msg

93

 

 

 

 

 

a 24 hour period.

1905

msg

msg

89

 

 

 

 

 

 

1906

msg

msg

msg

 

 

 

 

 

Annual snowmelt runoff is defined as total

1907

msg

msg

msg

 

 

 

 

 

annual spring or early winter runoff from

1908

msg

106

msg

 

 

 

 

 

both snowmelt and rainfall.

1909

msg

125

msg

 

 

 

 

 

 

Data used in 10 yr avgs begins in 1910

 

 

 

 

1910

65

83

72

 

 

 

 

 

Additional explanation given at end.

1911

86

90

112

 

 

 

 

 

 

1912

92

97

93

 

 

 

 

 

 

1913

92

103

93

 

 

 

 

 

 

1914

81

112

96

 

 

 

 

 

 

1915

91

128

98

 

Data for J.D. plot:

 

1916

86

102

92

 

10 yr mov avgs

 

 

1917

79

99

90

 

 

 

Plotted  at 10th yr

 

 

1918

81

130

84

 

Yr

Far

Scn

Scf

Example of mov avg for Fargo:

1919

81

85

81

 

1919

83

103

91.1

   83 is avg of 65, 86, 81

1920

76

83

84

 

1920

85

103

92.3

 85 is avg 86, 92, 76, plot at 1920

1921

78

86

91

 

1921

84

103

90.2

84 is avg 92, 92, 78, plot at 1921

1922

76

97

80

 

1922

82

103

88.9

 

1923

99

106

105

 

1923

83

103

90.1

      ( Leap yrs, 1904..2000 )

1924

100

132

120

 

1924

85

105

92.5

 

1925

93

87

86

 

1925

85

101

91.3

River Basin Characteristics

1926

80

83

89

 

1926

84

99

91

 

1927

71

75

72

 

1927

84

96

89.2

Red River at Fargo ND

1928

82

85

84

 

1928

84

92

89.2

Headwaters of Hudson Bay.

1929

73

77

75

 

1929

83

91

88.6

Flow record: 1902-2003.

1930

56

129

125

 

1930

81

96

92.7

Drainage area: 6800 square miles

1931

85

83

85

 

1931

82

95

92.1

Average annual flow: 680 cfs

1932

100

98

99

 

1932

84

96

94

St. Louis River at Scanlon MN

1933

94

107

94

 

1933

83

96

92.9

Headwaters of Great Lakes.

1934

100

96

98

 

1934

83

92

90.7

Flow record: 1908-2003.

1935

76

84

80

 

1935

82

92

90.1

Drainage area: 3430 square miles

1936

83

102

85

 

1936

82

94

89.7

Average annual flow: 2410 cfs

1937

100

103

93

 

1937

85

96

91.8

St. Croix R at St.Croix Falls WI

1938

79

80

80

 

1938

85

96

91.4

Headwaters of Mississippi River

1939

83

91

83

 

1939

86

97

92.2

Flow record: 1902-2003.

1940

95

97

98

 

1940

90

94

89.5

Drainage area: 6240 square miles

1941

86

95

92

 

1941

90

95

90.2

Average annual flow: 4400 cfs  

1942

90

92

83

 

1942

89

95

88.6

 

1943

88

90

90

 

1943

88

93

88.2

 

1944

87

101

100

 

1944

87

94

88.4

 

1945

71

74

74

 

1945

86

93

87.8

 

1946

77

77

73

 

1946

86

90

86.6

 

1947

82

95

94

 

1947

84

89

86.7

 

1948

88

88

85

 

1948

85

90

87.2

 

1949

90

94

85

 

1949

85

90

87.4

 

1950

85

107

87

 

1950

84

91

86.3

 

1951

88

96

96

 

1951

85

91

86.7

 

1952

92

97

94

 

1952

85

92

87.8

 

1953

79

81

80

 

1953

84

91

86.8

 

1954

78

98

98

 

1954

83

91

86.6

 

1955

90

93

90

 

1955

85

93

88.2

 

1956

95

96

95

 

1956

87

95

90.4

 

1957

83

92

82

 

1957

87

94

89.2

 

1958

64

93

93

 

1958

84

95

90

 

1959

88

125

127

 

1959

84

98

94.2

 

1960

87

105

91

 

1960

84

98

94.6

 

1961

66

87

87

 

1961

82

97

93.7

 

1962

94

118

92

 

1962

82

99

93.5

 

1963

84

88

87

 

1963

83

100

94.2

 

1964

95

103

105

 

1964

85

100

94.9

 

1965

97

103

100

 

1965

85

101

95.9

 

1966

71

43

41

 

1966

83

96

90.5

 

1967

77

88

88

 

1967

82

95

91.1

 

1968

78

89

116

 

1968

84

95

93.4

 

1969

86

97

83

 

1969

84

92

89

 

1970

96

98

98

 

1970

84

91

89.7

 

1971

77

100

89

 

1971

86

93

89.9

 

1972

74

107

82

 

1972

84

92

88.9

 

1973

64

72

70

 

1973

82

90

87.2

 

1974

72

103

98

 

1974

79

90

86.5

 

1975

83

106

104

 

1975

78

90

86.9

 

1976

79

88

82

 

1976

79

95

91

 

1977

80

74

74

 

1977

79

93

89.6

 

1978

82

90

88

 

1978

79

94

86.8

 

1979

89

107

82

 

1979

80

95

86.7

 

1980

77

94

92

 

1980

78

94

86.1

 

1981

84

89

89

 

1981

78

93

86.1

 

1982

76

103

89

 

1982

79

93

86.8

 

1983

65

65

62

 

1983

79

92

86

 

1984

59

54

48

 

1984

77

87

81

 

1985

70

82

74

 

1985

76

85

78

 

1986

77

89

84

 

1986

76

85

78.2

 

1987

65

84

84

 

1987

74

86

79.2

 

1988

69

96

87

 

1988

73

86

79.1

 

1989

88

94

87

 

1989

73

85

79.6

 

1990

79

74

72

 

1990

73

83

77.6

 

1991

84

85

81

 

1991

73

83

76.8

 

1992

63

70

66

 

1992

72

79

74.5

 

1993

81

87

86

 

1993

74

82

76.9

 

1994

60

83

75

 

1994

74

84

79.6

 

1995

67

74

73

 

1995

73

84

79.5

 

1996

67

103

78

 

1996

72

85

78.9

 

1997

53

88

86

 

1997

71

85

79.1

 

1998

51

56

55

 

1998

69

81

75.9

 

1999

57

87

88

 

1999

66

81

76

 

2000

55

59

60

 

2000

64

79

74.8

 

2001

65

97

93

 

2001

62

80

76

 

2002

68

100

90

 

2002

62

83

78.4

avg for 1993-2002 plotted at 2002

2003

62

110

82

 

2003

61

86

78

avg for 1994-2003 plotted at 2003

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

estimated

1916-17

based on monthly avg flows for Mar & Apr.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Criteria

500 cfs

2500 cfs

5000 cfs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

below crit:

1931

1925

1931

 

 

 

 

 

 

estimated

1934

1958

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

using flow

1977

1977

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

for 1st

1981

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

crest of yr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Criteria mean daily flow values were defined for use in determining "Beginning Days of

Snowmelt Runoff" in Julian Days for each river station for all years of record.  Julian Days

represent days of the year with consecutive numbers (number 1 for January 1st, 58 for

February 28th  and 90 (or 91 if leap year) for March 31st .  Criteria flows were defined by

trial and error (picked large enough to exclude any "Beginning Day of Snowmelt Runoff" that

had only partial snowmelt runoff,  but picked small enough so that every year of record had a

"Beginning Day of Snowmelt Runoff.  The Julian Day that first meets criteria flow for an

annual

snowmelt runoff period is assigned to be the "Beginning Day or Snowmelt Runoff for a

year.  10 yr moving averaging begins with assigned Julian Days  from 1910 to 1919, plotted

at year 1919 on Figure 1.   For Fargo, 1916 & 1917 were estimated based on mean monthly

Figure 1.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For years when flow remained below criteria, peak spring flow used for J. D.

used for Julian Day that runoff begins.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Annual Beginning Day of Snowmelt Runoff in Julian Days were identified

for the river stations using mean daily flow records.  Julian Days are

consecutive numbers representing days of the year, Julian Day numbers

1, 31, 58, 59, and 91 or 92 represent calendar days Jan 1, Jan 31, Feb

28, Feb 29, and Mar 31 or Apr 1(leap yr). 

 

 

 

 

                                       

______
* Used with permission of Pat Neuman.

 

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