Published April 7, 2023

Sakakawea Outlook Increased 

Written by
Kim Fundingsland
| The Dakotan

Expected Runoff Climbs Above Average 

RIVERDALE – Lake Sakakawea is now expected to reach a peak elevation four feet higher than predicted one month ago. 

According to the April projections from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the state’s largest body of water will reach 1,836.6 feet in late July. That compares to a peak of 1,832.6 a month earlier. 

Part of the reason for the increase is a growing snowpack over the Missouri River drainages, primarily the mountain snowpack water content in western Montana and throughout the Yellowstone River drainage. The snowpack, which had been tracking along historic norms, has increased over the past several weeks. 

March runoff projected at 21.5-million-acre feet of water increased to 26.4 MAF in April. The long-term average is 25.7 MAF. Peak snow conditions generally occur about mid-April. 

The next Missouri River Basin runoff forecast will be issued in early May. 

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