Meteorologists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center are warning of the chance of extensive river flooding in the U.S. this spring. The Climate Prediction Center (CPC) is forecasting above-average temperatures across the country this spring along with well above-average precipitation in the central and eastern portions of the country. According to the CPC, significant rainfall events could trigger flood conditions on top of already saturated soils.
“NOAA stands ready to provide timely and accurate forecasts and warnings throughout the spring,” said Neil Jacobs, Ph.D., acting NOAA administrator. “The dedicated employees of the National Weather Service continue to apply their skills and the latest technology to monitor additional rainfall, rising river levels, and the threat of severe weather to keep the public ahead of any weather hazard.”
Several ingredients are coming together to cause concern. According to NOAA, ongoing rainfall, highly-saturated soil, and the CPC’s forecast of above-normal precipitation this spring are elevating flood concerns. The highest increased chances for flooding exists around the central and southeastern United States. A risk of minor flooding also exists across one-third of the country. According to NOAA, the greatest risk for major and moderate flood conditions includes the upper and middle Mississippi River basins, the Missouri River basin, and the Red River of the North River.
“Nearly every day, dangerous flooding occurs somewhere in the United States and widespread flooding is in the forecast for many states in the months ahead,” said Ed Clark, director of NOAA’s National Water Center in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. “Working with our partners across the National Weather Service we provide the best available forecast products to enhance resilience in communities at greatest risk.”