Climate observers are renewing their warning of conditions that could lead to another round of widespread flooding this spring, especially in the Missouri River valley.
Doug Kluck, the Central Region climate service director for the National Weather Service in Kansas City, says there is a lot of water locked up across the region.
“It’s hard to get rid of a lot of water during this time of year,” Kluck says. “We don’t have a lot of evaporation, the plants aren’t growing. Whatever was there in October and November and December and now January isn’t going very far. The rivers keep flowing to some degree, some are frozen up. This is an accumulation time of year.”
Kluck says the updated forecasts are not optimistic as they predict a continued cold, wet winter. “The outlooks aren’t helpful from that perspective,” Kluck says. “Below normal temperatures will close things down in terms of freezing and not melting. The above-normal precipitation signatures, if that were to come true, aren’t helpful either.”
Kluck says if snowfall for the remaining two months of winter is relatively average, that may also spell trouble. “Even normal precipitation this time of year through spring and early summer, normal kind of ramps up,” Kluck says. “So normal precipitation probably wouldn’t be a great thing either for most of the north-central part of the U.S. either.”
Significant flooding started in northwest Iowa in March of last year and some residents of the area still haven’t been able to return to their homes — after ten months.
(By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton)