Missouri River Runoff Forecast Below Average

A warm February led to increased snowmelt and runoff in the Missouri River Basin above Sioux City Iowa. February runoff was 1.8 million acre-feet, 161 percent of average with above-average runoff in every reach except Sioux City, which was near average. However, the updated 2024 calendar year runoff forecast for the basin continues to be below average.

“Despite the increased runoff in February and improved soil moisture conditions, we expect 2024 runoff to remain below average,” says John Remus, chief of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Missouri River Water Management Division.

The much warmer-than-normal temps led to an early melt of the lower-than-average plains snow. Soil moisture conditions are near or above normal across most of the basin with below-normal soil moisture conditions in the eastern basin. The 2024 calendar year runoff forecast above Sioux City is 17-million-acre feet, 66 percent of average. Current system storage is 53.9 MAF.