The National Weather Service issued its first spring flood forecast at the end of January and now its second forecast shows the risk for flooding has gone up. Hydrologist Jeff Zogg says the weather conditions haven’t changed much and that’s made the chance of flooding worse.
Zogg says since the first report was released in late January, the snowfall totals have been above normal and the temperatures have been below normal, so that has pushed the risk for flooding higher.
Zogg says a couple of areas are higher risk than others. He says they are most concerned about the Des Moines and Raccoon River basins, along with the Mississippi River and some tributaries of in southeast Iowa, and the Little Sioux River in northwest Iowa.
Zogg says though the risk of flooding statewide is above normal. He says it’s a pretty good bet that some areas are going to see flooding. Zogg says the risk of flooding refers to the chance of hitting flood stage, or going to moderate flooding, or major flooding. He says the rivers in northwest and southeast Iowa that they are concerned with have a 99% risk or “near certainty” of flooding this spring.
While flooding is certain in some areas, the extent of the flooding still depends on how fast the snow melts. Zogg says the timing is everything as we don’t have much give in terms of the high soil moisture and snowpack. He says they will be watching for any heavy snow or rainfalls in the spring or any kind of rapid warm ups.
You can find out more about the flood outlook on the National Weather Service’s website .