(click the image to the left for a larger view of the spring flood outlook)
While many around our region were raving about the 80 degree weather as of late (so weird...), I think I could hear the groans and grunts coming from every ski resort in the northeast. It is really rough to hear about many of the ski resorts wrapping up for the season so soon! Maple sugar producers also joined in on those grunts. The latest stretch of summery weather is just the latest oddity of this anything but "normal" winter here in the northeast.
On the flipside, there is some really good news that will come from the lack of snow this lame winter season... here me out.
According to NOAA, the risk of major spring flooding is low for the first time in 4 years. Due to the low snowfall amounts, and the mild spells throughout the course of the winter gradually melting snow, nowhere in the country is currently at risk of major springtime flooding. This is great news after devastating flooding due to snow melt and heavy rain last spring for us here locally, as well as many parts of the Midwest.
"We're not forecasting a repeat of recent historic and prolonged flooding in the central and northern U.S., and that is a relief," said Laura Furgione, deputy director, NOAA's National Weather Service. "The severity of any flooding this year will be driven by rainfall more so than the melting of the current snow pack."
The Ohio River basin including portions of Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky, along with parts of Louisiana and Mississippi are the only areas with an above-normal risk of flooding as soil moisture and river levels are currently above normal. Additionally, odds favor above-average April rainfall for the Ohio River basin.
River and stream water levels are normal to below normal for most of the country and there is less snow pack than in previous years. As a result, there is a normal flood risk from the Northeast, through the mid-Atlantic, across most of the northern Plains and into the Northwest. However, heavy spring rainfall can lead to flooding at any time, even in areas where overall risk is considered at or even below normal.