Spring Flooding Outlook & New 6-10 Day Outlook
So who is loving this warmer weather??? (Both of my hands are raised high!) I wanted to share some good news that it looks like our overall warmer pattern will be continuing through the rest of the month. The National Weather Service's latest 6-10 day outlook that was issued today includes a 33% probability of above average temperatures continuing through Feb. 28. (Our average high increases from 49 degrees on 2/19, up to 52 degrees on 2/28.)
More good news with the 6-10 day outlook...it includes a bullseye of a 50% probability of above average precipitation right over the mid Mississippi & lower Ohio valleys. A trough over the western U.S. will keep our part of the country in a southwest flow pattern, with the potential for a couple of rounds of decent rain both for the first and last parts of next week.
This is good news for us as parts of the area are still....even with all of this winter's snow....in a moderate to severe drought.
A look at some of the latest drought information shows just how dry our region is. Of course, we ended last year at around 12 inches below average, and we are already at 3.25" below average through these first 7 weeks of 2011. At this point, much of the region needs between 9 & 12 inches of rainfall to end the drought.
Some might wonder if the snowfall of the past couple of weeks helped to make a dent in things....but unfortunately it did not. Of the nearly 9" of snow we received at the weather center, that melted down to about a measly 0.7" of liquid.
And even though the initial topsoil may be fairly wet, the overall soil conditions are not good. The latest soil moisture percentile map ranks much of the region in the 5-10 percentile.
Looking ahead to the potential for spring flooding, the latest NWS spring flooding outlook was released earlier this week...click here for a link to the detailed report. To summarize the report....it would appear that normal, minor flooding can be expected due to rainfall and snowmelt from upstream on area rivers, but for now, the threat for any abnormally high flooding looks quite small. Farther north, however, it would appear that residents in the north central U.S. will be fighting back floodwaters again this spring. Heavy rainfall last autumn and a deeper than average snowpack over states like North & South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, & Iowa are leading to flooding concerns across the upper Mississippi River basin. That higher threat for river flooding could extend as far south as St. Louis. For that flood outlook, click here.