• Fernando Perez

Spring Outlook- NOAA Flood Risk (March-May)


Following a wet winter, many parts of the United States are at risk of at least minor flooding this spring. In this video, the Climate Prediction Center's Mike Halpert explains what's behind NOAA's temperature, precipitation, and flood outlooks for spring 2019. For maps and more discussion, visit https://www.climate.gov/spring2019.


Spring Into Action-The Time is Now As the winter season comes to a close, the warming temperatures of spring means a reawakening of nature and a time for new beginnings.  However, spring also brings about a vulnerability to the thawing earth, the streams and rivers within…and beyond. 

Flooding can occur in any part of the country impacted by slow moving storms and extreme rainfall. However, the threat for spring flooding increases in areas where there is snowmeltand the breakup of river ice—often occurring at the same time. When snow is melting, and there is more water than the slow thawing soil can absorb, the run-off feeds into nearby creeks, lakes, streams, and rivers which often become inundated and overflow.

Additionally, as melting ice begins to break apart and move downstream, the ice may become jammed against an obstruction creating a block in the water’s flow. The back-up can then engorge the water’s artery causing upstream flooding when the water has nowhere else to go. Compounding such conditions with even moderate levels of rainfall poses an even greater potential for flooding to occur. This past winter’s record precipitation across a large swath of the country has set the stage for this spring’s elevated flood risk, and the types of flooding to be prepared for as a result: 

Flash Flooding River Flooding Ice/Debris Jams Snowmelt Dam Breaks/Levee Failures

As agents, you contribute to building more a more resilient society by helping your clients understand their flood risk, and to take action in purchasing a flood insurance policy to protect the life they’ve built.  

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