2019 Spring Outlook: Major Flooding Risks Continuing across USA


Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 27 March 2019

 

EXTREME WEATHER

Outlook for Spring 2019 Flooding
2019 US Spring Flood Outlook by NOAA.

Locations where there is a greater than 50-percent chance of major, moderate or minor flooding during March through May, 2019. (NOAA) Big Map.

 

2019 US Flooding Reaching New Levels of Extremity

Spring Outlook: Historic, widespread flooding to continue through May,
NOAA, March 21, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Widespread Flood Risk
“Nearly two-thirds of the Lower 48 states face an elevated risk for flooding through May, with the potential for major or moderate flooding in 25 states, according to NOAA’s U.S. Spring Outlook issued today.”

Record Flooding So Far
“...the upper Mississippi and Missouri River basins including Nebraska, Minnesota and Iowa – have already experienced record flooding this year.”

Why
“Record winter precipitation across a large swath of the country has set the stage for the elevated flood risk. The upper Mississippi and Red River of the North basins have received rain and snow this spring up to 200 percent above normal.”

Coming Major Risk Areas
“...greatest risk for moderate to major flooding include the upper, middle, and lower Mississippi River basins including the mainstem Mississippi River, Red River of the North, the Great Lakes, eastern Missouri River, lower Ohio, lower Cumberland, and Tennessee River basins.”

Moderate Risk
“...much of the U.S. east of the Mississippi River and portions of California and Nevada are at risk for minor flooding.”

NOAA Prognosis
“The extensive flooding we’ve seen in the past two weeks will continue through May and become more dire and may be exacerbated in the coming weeks as the water flows downstream.”

Record Droughts & Floods…
“Above-average rain and snow in California this winter has pulled the entire state out of its seven-year drought. Scattered areas of the Southwest, Southeast and Pacific Northwest are abnormally dry, but the worst drought conditions in the U.S. are in northern New Mexico. Springtime rain and melting of deep snowpack are favored to slightly improve the drought there.”

 

Some Supplemental Information

Those Midwestern floods are expected to get much, much worse,
Two-thirds of the US is at risk for "major to moderate" flooding this spring.
Ars Technica, March 23, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

“This winter’s big snowpack is fueling the floods. In the eastern Dakotas and Minnesota, more than 20 inches of snow remains on the ground.”

“And it's not done falling yet. More rainstorms are expected to hit the Midwest over the next eight to 10 days.”

"Climate scientists say it's too early to tell exactly to what degree human-induced climate change has affected this spring flood cycle, but they note that the watery disaster is following a pattern of extreme weather events across the United States. There's about 10 percent more moisture available in the environment as a result of global climate change, says Kevin Trenberth, a senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado."

 

 

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2019, Spring, Outlook, major, flooding risks, across, USA

 

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