NOAA Expects Moderate Flood Risk, Continued Droughts
Washington-Rivers in half the U.S. are at a minor to moderate risk of exceeding flood levels between April and June and drought conditions are expected to continue in California and the southwestern portion of the country, according to a report released on Thursday by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The area of the highest threat of flooding is the southern Great Lakes region due to above-average snowpack and a deep layer of frozen ground. But below-average temperatures over the winter also resulted in river ice formation and ice jams further south than normal, NOAA's Spring Outlook said. Moderate spring flooding is predicted in parts of southern Wisconsin, southern Michigan, portions of Illinois, Indiana and Iowa. There is less of a risk of moderate flooding from eastern North Dakota and northwest Minnesota and areas in western South Dakota.
Drought conditions are expected to continue or intensify in California, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, southeast Colorado, western Oklahoma and western Texas because of below-average rain or snow over the winter and the onset of the dry season in April, the report said. Drought improvement is likely in Washington and southeast Idaho, extreme northern and coastal Oregon, western and central Nebraska and Kansas, central Oklahoma and the Midwest. Drought is not expected in the eastern U.S. in the next three months.