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Rising Waters on the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers
This page contains archived content and is no longer being updated. At the time of publication, it represented the best available science. However, more recent observations and studies may have rendered some content obsolete.
Melting snow continued to raise river levels in the Midwest in late March 2011. The Advanced Hydrological Prediction Service of the U.S. National Weather Service issued flood warnings for multiple sites along the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers, including Mankato and St. Paul.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite acquired these images on March 27, 2011 (top), and February 28, 2011 (bottom). Both images use a combination of infrared and visible light to increase the contrast between water and land. Snow is bright turquoise. Water is navy. Vegetation is green. Clouds are nearly white and cast shadows.
At the end of February, snow lingers over almost the entire region. A month later, the snow has melted south of St. Paul and Mankato. The dark hues around Mankato suggest the presence of standing water. Both rivers appear far more prominent in late March, especially the Mississippi.