The RRAF map is based on a National Weather Service model used for flood forecasting. This model takes into account soil moisture content, forecast precipitation and temperatures, snow accumulation and melt to predict the likelihood of daily, next day, and 72 hour runoff events.

The Minnesota Runoff Risk Advisory Forecast map divides the state into 2 sq. km (494 acres) grids. Select the different layers of the map to view the runoff chances for the next 24 hours, the next three days and multiple days. Zooming in and clicking on a specific region will enable a pop up table that shows the precipitation, air temperature, two and six-inch soil temperature, and snow depth forecasts.

There are a series of additional statewide forecast maps and a Stream Power Index (SPI) map for the Root River Watershed. All of these maps can be accessed using the tabs at the top of the Minnesota Runoff Risk Advisory Forecast Map.

The forecast maps for precipitation, and daily soil temperature at the two-inch depth and six-inch depth are updated twice daily, around 6:00 and 8:00 a.m. Central time. The soil conditions shown are forecasts for values at noon of that day. The precipitation is the daily midnight to midnight forecast totals. The date and time the map was last updated is posted in the upper right hand corner of the map.

There are a series of tools to help navigate and use the map. The table below includes the tool or button and their function.

Tool Function

Magnifying glass, search button icon.

The search button will move the map to any address, partial address, place name, township name followed by MN, county name followed by MN, or geographic coordinates (decimal degrees) you search. When using coordinates, longitude MUST be entered first, then latitude.


Simple drawing of a house, home button icon.

Click the Home button to zoom the map back out to the initial extent.
My Location

Circle with hash marks, map icon for "my location"
Click the My Location button to have the map automatically zoom to your approximate location. If you get an error message, check the browser's setting for pop-ups asking if you want to share your location.

Layers & Instructions

Drawing of a file folder with three dots along the horizontal center.
Click on the Layers button to see the variety of layers you can select when viewing the map. Multiple layers can be active at one time. Be sure you know which layers you have on or off.


Four small squares positioned to make a larger square, resembling a window.

Click the Basemap button to change the map background from the default Topographic to a Satellite (aerial) view, a Streets map view, or other backgrounds.


A drawing of a book with a bookmark.

The Bookmark button allows you to create and save the current map view. This can help you find the same location each time you view the map. After finding your area of interest, click the Bookmark button, click ‘Add’, and type in a name for the location. The next time you open the map, you can simply click the saved Bookmark again and the map will zoom to that area.


Mobile browsers

The Minnesota Runoff Risk Advisory Forecast Maps are developed with JavaScript and are compatible with the following desktop and mobile browsers: Chrome, Chrome on Android, Edge, Firefox, Internet Explorer 9+, iOS Safari and Safari 3+.


My Location

Circle with hash marks, map icon for "my location"

The “My Location" button on the map uses HTML Geolocation to find your approximate location. When run on mobile      devices, by default it uses GPS on the device to locate the place. When run on desktops, it uses network signals to estimate the location. This method is usually less accurate than for GPS-enabled devices. Users might get an error message after clicking the 'My Location' button. It is often caused by the browser's security. Check the browser's setting for pop-ups asking if you want to share your location. Click "Yes" to find your location


A drawing of a book with a bookmark.

The Bookmarks button on the map uses your browser's cookies to store your map view. If the Bookmarks tool is not working for you, please check your browser's settings to ensure that cookies are allowed to be set.




The RRAF can be accessed through your computer desktop, cell phone and any electronic devices with internet connections.  If the screen that you are using is small (such as a cell phone), a green bar that says "Swipe to navigate the story" is at the bottom of the screen. Swiping across the bottom of the screen allows you to move through the different tabs.  It starts with Runoff Risk, followed by Precipitation, Soil Temperature 2", Soil Temperature 6" and How to Use This Map.  Swipe back to the right to back through those screens.

To see the map, simply click on the bottom two white arrows. Selecting those makes the map portion active.  To make the folder view active again, click again on the bottom two white arrows

Risk is grouped into four categories: no event, low, moderate and severe and is provided in a single day and the 72-hour (multiday) risk forecast. View a map example and the details of a forecast to learn How to use the Forecast.

Each day an image of the daily risk maps are taken and archived. Image Archives are included from January 15, 2018 to the present.

The Stream Power Index (SPI) is a measure of the erosive power of flowing water and can help identify areas on the landscape where concentrated flow and gully erosion are more likely to occur. The SPI is a function of both slope and contributing area. High SPI values indicate areas with large drainage areas and steeper slopes.

Why should farmers and landowners care about the SPI?Aerial landscape map view with the Stream Power Index values. Stream stretches are colored using a color scale to indicate priority areas for conservation practices.

Think of high SPI values like conveyer belts that can transport sediment, nutrients/manure and pesticides off  fields during snowmelt or heavy rainfall events. Installing grassed waterways, edge of field prairie strips or other conservation practices in areas with high SPI values can help reduce this risk. It may not be practical to address all SPI areas on your farm, so prioritize based on color (darker orange areas) and proximity to streams.

Details about these Data

The SPI for the Root River Watershed was created using a non-hydro conditioned 3-meter resolution digital elevation model from a 2008 LiDAR flight. Data were filtered to only show the 85th percentile and above values. These data are currently only available for the Root River Watershed with plans to expand to other areas when they become available.

Note: High SPI values in flatter landscapes found in Mower and Dodge County may not always appear. SPI values do not factor in existing conservation practices.

The SPI for the Root River Watershed was done in connection with the Root River Field to Stream Partnership