Long Range Water Level Forecast (Guess)

It would appear we’re about to pass through Third Winter (one of Wisconsin’s 11 seasons) this weekend as snow is in the forecast followed by a week of rain.

For reference:

Winter, Fool’s Spring, Second Winter, Spring of Deception, Third Winter, Mud Season, Actual Spring, Summer, False Fall, Second Summer, Actual Fall

All of this cold weather has kept a decent amount of snowpack in the northern reaches of our watershed and we’re about to get a ton of rain.  This is to say that while the river is currently near record low levels for this time of year, I don’t expect it to last.

Wisconsin River levels April 2018

Once we finally get warmer and the spring rains kick in we’ll see water levels shoot up pretty quickly.  I don’t have a ton of data to go on but anecdotally, I imagine we’ll see peak runoff happen around the end of the month and if we get one or two rain storms a week somewhere in the (relatively large) river valley we’ll see waters stay high a little later into Spring than is typical.  Though to be perfectly honest, I’m maybe 60% confident that’s what’ll happen.  I thought last year was going to be a great start to the season solely as a reversion to the mean from the high water the prior two seasons but then we lost 6 weeks to flooding including Memorial Day and 4th of July weekends.

Fingers crossed I’m completely wrong and low water levels continue!     -Ryan