The National Weather Service issued its first flood outlook Thursday and says there's a better than 50 percent chance of major flooding in Fargo-Moorhead this spring.
Meteorologist Greg Gust said much of the Red River Valley received above normal moisture this year.
"Fall moisture [was] excessive in areas, but really the total moisture in that water trying to move through the system is quite excessive for this year," Gust said. "So these precursor conditions clearly have us somewhat apprehensive."
Gust many Minnesota rivers that feed into the Red River are flowing at record high levels for this time of the year.
"Right now the Minnesota system coming in the south valley is quite worrisome," he said. "So that is really what is pushing the numbers hardest. That's almost more similar to what we had coming in to the 2009 flood."
Gust said the weather outlook for the rest of the winter is for above normal precipitation. The National Weather Service plans to issue monthly flood outlooks until spring.
Fargo-Moorhead has experienced significant flooding the past two years.