Winter Snow = Spring Floods?

For a while there it felt like we were going on air every week talking about some part of The United States that was getting slammed by a major winter storm. It may have been The Northern Plains, or The Northeast, or The Mid-Atlantic of The Central Plains or even The Rockies. Somewhere, someone was getting hit with feet of snow. But, in the blink of an eye, we shifted the jet-streak, pushed the cold air back up north and now most of America is basking in a warmer weather pattern this week. One week ago, 65% of The United States was covered with at least 1 inch of snow, with an average snow depth of 8.3 inches. This week, half of the snow is now gone with only 33% of The United States seeing snowpack on the ground, and an average depth of 5.5 inches. So, what comes next? You guessed it… floods. The National Weather Service has zoned out a few locations that are most likely to experience flooding, and if it looks familiar to last years floods, then you’re not alone.

Due to higher snowpack and possible ice jams, The Mississippi River and many smaller rivers in The Northern Plains will likely experience significant flooding and with the recent warm-up (even far north where it’s in the mid 60s in South Dakota), many rivers are already headed near flood stage. The Rockies may see high river levels within a few months as they too have had record snow, but given the elevation changes, the water is able to move more easily towards The Hoover Dam. As for Oklahoma, our rivers will likely remain well below the flood stage as snowmelt will have hardly any impact on the river levels, even in Eastern Oklahoma.



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