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NOAA Forecast Calls for Heavy Flooding in the U.S.

March 31, 2020 Leave a comment DRI Admin

While the coronavirus outbreak is taking up most of the headlines, resilience professionals know there’s always more than one crisis on the horizon to prepare for. Case in point: the upcoming spring forecast predicting widespread flooding throughout the U.S.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center is forecasting above-average temperatures for spring, along with above-average precipitation in central and eastern parts of the U.S. As a result, severe flood conditions are likely, though not at the historic levels of 2019.

The greatest risks for major and moderate flooding includes the upper and middle Mississippi River basins, the Missouri River basin, and the Red River of the North. Moderate flooding is expected in the Cumberland, Missouri, Ohio, and Tennessee River basins.

These predictions are based on a number of factors, including:

  • Soil moisture already at high levels across the central states
  • Rivers running high in the central and eastern U.S., and
  • Current conditions of snowpack, drought, frost depth, streamflow, and precipitation.

On the other end of the spectrum, drought conditions are expected to persist and expand throughout California, as well as in the central and southern Rocky Mountains, the southern Plains, southern Texas, and portions of the Pacific Northwest.