For the first time in four years, the Northern Plains will not experience major to record spring snowmelt flooding. Of course the reason being is that there was very little snowpack in that part of the country throughout the winter. Most of the major winter storms either missed that area, or it was warm enough that the snow melted off and on over the winter months. The record warmth in March took care of the rest of any remaining snow pack in the Upper Midwest as well. This is certainly great news for residents in Fargo and Grand Forks along the Red River as well as folks along the Mississippi River.
There is also a lower than normal risk of spring flooding in the southwest quadrant of the county as well as an area from Florida to parts of Virginia. Only a few spots in Louisiana, Mississippi, Kentucky, and southern Indiana, and southeast Illinois have an above normal chance of spring floods according to NOAA.
The bad side of lower than normal spring flood risk in the Northern Plains and Midwest is the fact that this usually means the ground will dry out sooner than normal. Thus there is a somewhat increased chance of growing season drought, unless frequent rains start to show up.
You can read NOAA’s full spring hydrologic assessment at this link. http://www.nws.noaa.gov/hic/nho/
This post was written by Tony Schumacher on April 2, 2012