Email
Password
Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article imageNOAA: Unprecedented spring flooding is possible for U.S.

By Karen Graham     Mar 21, 2019 in Environment
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.
The spring outlook just got a bit worse for those already devastated by flooding in the Midwest and along the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers in places like Nebraska and Iowa, where lots of "bomb cyclone" snow and rain has led to record flooding.
That's because the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts that things are going to get worse and more widespread as spring continues, affecting 25 states clear into May, reports CNN.
“The extensive flooding we’ve seen in the past two weeks will continue through May and become dire and may be exacerbated in the coming weeks as the water flows downstream,” said Ed Clark, director of NOAA’s National Water Center in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, reports Forbes.
“This is shaping up to be a potentially unprecedented flood season, with more than 200 million people at risk for flooding in their communities," Clark said.
This map depicts the locations where there is a greater than 50-percent chance of major  moderate or...
This map depicts the locations where there is a greater than 50-percent chance of major, moderate or minor flooding during March through May, 2019.
NOAA
Major flooding in 25 states
According to NOAA, at least 200 million people will be at risk for some kind of flooding, with 13 million of them at risk of a major flood event. About 41 million people will be impacted by moderate flooding.
Areas of 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.
Additionally, a large swath of the U.S. east of the Mississippi River and portions of California and Nevada will be at risk for minor flooding.
Mary Erickson, the deputy director of the National Weather Service said the major flooding being experienced in Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota, Missouri, and other Midwestern states is just a preview of what's coming. “In fact, we expect the flooding to get worse and more widespread,” she said, reports the Associated Press.
This year’s flooding “could be worse than anything we’ve seen in recent years, even worse than the historic floods of 1993 and 2011,” she said. Already this year, damage from flooding in the midwest has already passed the billion-dollar mark.
The "perfect storm" that hit the midwest
It has been called record-breaking, historic and even biblical - This is just a few of the expressions used to describe the scale of flooding in the Midwest. The flooding was caused by a perfect storm of melting snow, "bomb cyclone" rain and climate change - all conspiring to create a disaster of epic proportions.
All by itself, the bomb cyclone was itself a historic event, with wind gusts close to 100 mph and record-setting low pressure. And depending on where you live, it dropped heavy snow or pounding rains on land that was already frozen. And the rain falling on frozen soil could only do one thing -run off.
Yes, it is true that these events can occur with a normal climate, but with climate change, there is more energy and moisture available, and this increases the damage.
More about NOAA, spring flooding, Historic, 25 states, central and southern US
 
Latest News
Top News