OMAHA, Neb. (KCAU) – The 2021 runoff for the Missouri River above Sioux City is forecast to be below average.
That’s according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Specifically, the 2021 runoff is expected to accumulate only 89% of the average at 22.9 million acre-feet of water. The forecast is based on soil moisture conditions, plains snowpack, mountain snowpack, and long-term precipitation and temperature outlooks.
“Both plains snowpack and mountain snowpack continue to lag behind seasonal averages, and soil moisture continues to be much drier-than-normal,” said John Remus, the chief of the Missouri River Basin Water Management Division.
Remus said the below-average forecast is expected even with the January runoff being slightly above average.
The January runoff was 1.1 MAF, 41% more than normal. The cause of the above-average runoff was due to above-normal temperatures melting plains snowpack and inhibiting river ice formation.
Gavins Point releases will be maintained at the winter release rate of 17,000 cubic feet per second but will be adjusted if needed in response to ice formation on the Missouri River below Gavins Point Dam. The expected reservoir level for the dam at the end of February is 1,206 feet of the 1,234 feet level