ST. PAUL (WCCO) — The Mississippi River is expected to hit minor flood stage over the weekend, but experts say that this year’s flood season is much better than what they expected it to be.

According to National Weather Service Service Hydrologist Craig Schmidt, our heavy rain in the fall set up what could have been a really bad flooding season. But we’ve had an ideal melt and spring.

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“We are actually in really good shape as it turned out. We did not have much precipitation for the spring for the most part. We had a grand total of 2 storms from the first of the year, with half inch or more of rain or snow,” Schmidt said.

And flood season isn’t over yet, but Schmidt is optimistic.

“We are not completely in the clear, but things are looking really good. Looking at the long range weather forecast, I don’t see any big storms coming for the next ten days or so, so that’s also very helpful. That will continue to let the water move through the system,” Schmidt said.

It won’t be till mid or late April when Schmidt and the rest of the hydrologists over the National Weather Service will breathe a sigh of relief. That’s when everything starts greening up and the grass and tree roots will start soaking up some that water.

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Both the 2020 melt and 2019 melt were ideal. They really couldn’t have been better. And that is rare.

“It’s unprecedented to me to have two seasons where we were so set up for potentially major flooding and just everything worked out. I can’t even put a return into that. It’s pretty shocking to be honest.” Schmidt said.

The Twin Cities may have dodged a bullet with spring flooding, but it looks like the Red River Valley is in for another potentially bad flood season.

The snow that just fell in that area will melt in the next several weeks, so that is going to be something Craig and his team continue to watch.

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That water will flow north into Canada and will not affect the rivers in the Twin Cities.

Katie Steiner