In the News

Low Runoff Predicted On Missouri River

February 15, 2023   The Waterways Journal

Runoff in the Missouri River Basin above Sioux City, Iowa, was 134 percent of average in January, but that’s not necessarily good news for those looking for an end to the basin’s drought, the Corps of Engineers reports. That’s because warmer-than-normal temperatures in the upper basin resulted in some snowmelt runoff that ordinarily would have come later in the spring.


Precipitation in January was below normal for most of the upper basin except for southern South Dakota, which saw above-normal precipitation.


“Despite January’s runoff being above average, we expect 2023 runoff to remain below average,” said John Remus, chief of the Corps’ Missouri River Basin Water Management Division. “Drought conditions currently exist across most of the basin.”


The Corps’ 2023 calendar year runoff forecast above Sioux City is 21.1 million acre-feet (maf.), which would be 82 percent of average. The runoff forecast is based on current soil moisture conditions, plains snowpack, mountain snowpack and long-term precipitation and temperature outlooks.