WINNIPEG -- We still have a few more weeks of winter to get through, but officials are keeping their eyes on the sky and the ground in preparation for possible spring flooding.

The National Weather Service in the United States said there is a high risk of major flooding this spring along the Red River Basin at Fargo/Moorhead, Grand Forks and Pembina. It said moderate to major flooding is expected along the Red River’s tributaries.

In its latest flood outlook released Thursday, it noted while there have been no major storms since mid-January, this past fall was the wettest on record. The NWS is also predicting a wetter and cooler than normal end to winter and start to spring. 

It said this year could be a top five flood year. 

The NWS said a lot of factors determine how severe the flooding could be, and it will likely depend on the spring thaw cycle and whether there are heavy spring rains. 

Late last month, Manitoba’s Hydrologic Forecast Centre echoed similar sentiments, saying weather conditions from now through April will largely determine the occurrence, extent and severity of spring runoff. It said the province’s first flood outlook will be released at the end of February, with another released at the end of March.