NOAA’s spring 2019 flood and climate outlook for the United States

NOAA’s spring 2019 flood and climate outlook for the United States

On March 21st, NOAA issued its 2019 Spring Outlook for flood risk, temperature, and precipitation. A very wet winter has primed portions of the Central Plains for late winter flooding. The Flood Outlook highlights areas at risk of major flooding concentrated along the Mississippi, the Missouri, and the Red River of the North. Moderate flood risk is elevated surrounding those rivers, in the lower Ohio, Cumberland, and Tennessee Rivers, in New England, in Texas, and in Idaho. Minor flood potential covers much of the central and eastern U.S. as well as portions of California, Nevada, and the Pacific Northwest. Most areas with an enhanced risk of flooding also have a tilt in the odds towards above-average precipitation. Much of Alaska also has an elevated chance of above-average precipitation. Hawaii, the Alaskan panhandle, and the Pacific Northwest have elevated chances of below-average precipitation. Remember, for every point on these maps, there exists the possibility that there will be a below-, near-, or above-average outcome. The maps show only the most likely category, with higher probabilities indicating greater confidence. “EC” stands for “equal chances”: locations where there is no tilt in the odds towards above-, near- or below-average temperature or precipitation. Below-average temperatures are most likely in the Central and Northern Plains, while above-average temperatures are favored east of the Mississippi, in much of the West, and in Alaska and Hawaii. After a wet winter from coast to coast, drought is not a large concern this spring. Dangerous and severe weather are always possible, so stay tuned to NOAA to be weather-ready and climate-smart.

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