Almost half of U.S. faces spring flooding
NOAA: Flood will most likely be due to the melting of the snowpack in the North Central region of the United States.
Thu, Mar 17, 2011 at 01:01 PM
ALREADY STARTED: The 13th Street docks along the Allegheny River in Sharpsburg, Penn. on March 6, 2011. Flood like this are expected to damage much of the United States this year. (Photo: divinehammer
WASHINGTON - Almost half the United States — the North Central region, the Midwest and the Northeast — faces a high risk of spring flooding over the next two weeks, government forecasters said on Thursday.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said in its spring forecast that the stage was set for potential widespread, record flooding, particularly in the North Central United States for the third year in a row.
"With spring flooding already underway over portions of the U.S., NOAA forecasters are warning the worst is yet to come," the forecasting agency said.
Much of the flooding will be due to warmer temperatures that cause a large part of the snowpack in the North Central region to melt.
The main early danger from this flooding, and expected above average rainfall, is for farmers trying to plant corn this spring and whether they can get their machines in the fields, government forecasters said.
The highest spring flood risk areas include the Red River of the North, which forms the state line between North Dakota and Minnesota, and the Milk River in eastern Montana, NOAA said.
Other areas facing flooding risks: the James and Big Sioux rivers in South Dakota, the Minnesota River, the upper Mississippi River basin from Minneapolis southward to St. Louis, and a portion of lower New York, eastern Pennsylvania and northern New Jersey.
NOAA also said that the La Nina weather pattern, which generally brings dry weather conditions, peaked during the December-January period, but will remain moderately strong in April and then weaken by June.
(Editing by Walter Bagley)
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