If you farm in the Upper Midwest or Northern Plains, the chance of more rivers flooding is very high this summer. NOAA’s National Weather Service issued a warning today that rivers in these areas are at high risk for flooding throughout the summer.
Rivers are running at high levels and soils are completely saturated. Just a small amount of rain will trigger more flooding, including areas that have already been flooded, NOAA says.
Above-normal rain is being forecast in these vulnerable areas during the next couple of weeks by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. Continued above-normal rain also fills the forecast for the one- and three-month outlooks. In addition, higher temperatures in the Rockies will melt more snowpack and release more water.
“The sponge is fully saturated; there is nowhere for any additional water to go,” says Jack Hayes, NOAA’s National Weather Service director. “While unusual for this time of year, all signs point to the flood threat continuing through summer.”
As a result, forecasters suggest that this season will rival the great flood of 1993 when the Upper Midwest endured persistent, record-breaking floods. More than nine states sustained $25 billion in flood damage (adjusted for inflation).
Throughout the rest of the summer, the highest flood risk areas include:
* Souris River in North Dakota
* Red River in North Dakota and Minnesota
* Minnesota River in Minnesota
* Upper Mississippi River in Minnesota and Iowa
* Des Moines River in Iowa
* Lower Missouri River in South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri
* James and Big Sioux Rivers in North Dakota
* Lower Ohio River Valley, including the White, Wabash and lower Ohio Rivers
* North Platte River in Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska
* Yellowstone River in Wyoming and Montana
* Utah and Colorado
Visit NOAA's National Weather Service at weather.gov.