Less Flood Risk This Year but Drought Concerns Continue

Calling it a “spring break,” the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has announced that there is no major flood risk warning in effect for the coming months. This is the first time in four years that there has not been a major flood risk identified for the April-June timeframe.

According to NOAA, most of the country is at normal or below normal flood risk, a stark contrast to 2011’s devastating floods across many parts of the nation but particularly in the Upper Midwest. This year, the only areas with above-normal flood risks are the Ohio River Valley and parts of the Gulf Coast.

While flooding worries may be lessened, severe drought conditions continue in Texas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma as well as in the Southeast and are also cause for grave wildfire concerns. At present, the forecast seems to indicate a greater number of less severe droughts [than in 2011] but fewer extreme drought conditions. And, although the Washington DC cherry blossoms are reaching their peak a full two weeks ahead of schedule, NOAA is not yet prepared to say that this year’s rising heat index is connected to global climate change.