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NOAA releases outlooks for spring 2020 floods, precipitation, and temperature


After a historic flood season in 2019, on March 19th NOAA issued its 2020 Spring Outlook for flood risk, temperature, and precipitation. The 2020 Flood Outlook forecast predicts major flooding in eastern North Dakota, eastern South Dakota, northwestern Minnesota and portions of the middle Mississippi River. A risk for moderate flooding extends from the Northern Plains and the Northern Midwest, through the Missouri Valley and into the Southeast, including large parts of Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia. A risk of minor flooding exists across one third of the country this spring. Above-average precipitation is favored across much of the lower 48 from the Northern Plains, into the Northeast, and into the Southeast and Florida, as well as in Hawaii and central and northern Alaska. Below-average rainfall is most likely along the south coast of Alaska and from the Pacific Northwest to western Texas. Remember, for every point on these maps, there exists the possibility that there will be a below, near, or above-average outcome. The maps show only the most likely category, with higher probabilities indicating greater confidence. “EC” stands for “equal chances”: locations where there is no tilt in the odds towards above, near or below-average temperature or precipitation. The temperature outlook favors warmer-than-average conditions from coast to coast across the lower 48, as well as in Hawaii and Alaska. Parts of Montana and the Dakotas have no tilt in the odds towards any category. Significant rainfall events on top of already saturated soils could trigger flood conditions at any time, so stay tuned to NOAA to be weather-ready and climate-smart.

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