Spring flood outlook issued
Flood potential this spring is above average or above normal for much of the Ohio and Mississippi river basins and their tributaries across Southern Illinois and Western Kentucky.
An average or normal chance exists for tributaries in Southeast Missouri.
The National Weather Service office in Paducah released a spring 2020 flood and water resources outlook last week.
The outlook covers a period which began in mid-February and continues through mid-May.
“Flooding in this region occurs mainly due to conditions of ground moisture, river flows and expected precipitation,” the weather service noted on its website.
Precipitation since last fall in the region has been above normal.
Periodic rounds of heavy rain have fallen since Dec. 1, producing rivers that are running above normal across the region.
Minor to moderate flooding is currently occurring along the Ohio River and several of its tributaries.
Snow is confined to only the extreme northern parts of the Mississippi and Ohio river basins.
Soil moisture is much above normal and conditions are nearly saturated across the region.
“Given all these factors, flood risk is above normal across the region,” the weather service advised.
Additional flooding through the spring will be dependent on how the snow melts in the upper parts of the Mississippi and Ohio basins, as well as the track of spring storm systems.
Elevated river levels can be expected into at least the first part of spring.