The fall of 2008 may turn out to be the wettest on record in the Grand Forks area in 120 years. That could increase the odds of significant flooding next spring.
But Mark Ewens, of the National Weather Service in Fargo, said there are other risk factors that rank higher on the list.
"Wet soil, should it freeze would prevent that snow from being able to go into the soil and run off more quickly in the river system. That's where the wet fall becomes important. But, the really big key is the amount of snow and how fast it melts," Ewens said.
After the ten wettest falls on record, the Red River crested the following spring over the 40-foot mark in Grand Forks on three occasions. It stayed below the 28-foot flood stage in four other years.
Ewens said the latest winter outlook calls for near normal amounts of snow in the Red River Valley.