Why has the U.P. largely been spared spring flooding?

The snow cover left over from this year’s long winter is largely gone from most areas of the U.P. Many thought that a flooding pattern similar to last year’s would follow suit, but that hasn’t happened yet.

The Michigan State Police encouraged residents to prepare for spring flooding in March after sporadic, dense patches of snow swept through the state. However, the Upper Peninsula has mostly been spared. The National Weather Service credits ideal weather conditions for the somewhat sudden disappearance.

“It’s getting a little mild during the day, and then it gets cold at night and everything re-freezes back up,” National Weather Service meteorologist Matt Zika said. “As a result, it lets the runoff from the day run off and we start the process over again each day. The streams and tributaries have been able to handle most of that water so far, for the most part.”

However, some fresh snow will be falling across much of the region between now and Friday morning. The Paint River in Crystal Falls and the Sturgeon River near Chassell are under flood advisories.

“There’s still a few areas, especially across the Keweenaw Peninsula and some of those areas, that still have quite a bit of snow pack,” Zika said. “We’ll be monitoring them over the next couple of weeks, but right now, the overall concern for widespread, significant tributary-type flooding is not that high.”

Not all areas of the state have been as fortunate as the Upper Peninsula. Governor Rick Snyder has declared a state of disaster in two Lower Peninsula counties because of massive flooding on the Muskegon River.