NOAA: Flooding possible in the Great Plains

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Northern North Dakota — the Souris River, Devils Lake and the northernmost reaches of the Red River — has the greatest risk of major flooding this spring, and moderate flooding is possible over southern Idaho in the Snake River basin, according to NOAA’s Spring Outlook.

California, which saw extensive flooding in February, is susceptible to additional flooding from possible storms through the remainder of the wet season, and later, from snow melt.

“If you’re in northern North Dakota, or in the Snake River basin in Idaho, prepare for moderate to major flooding this spring,” Tom Graziano, director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of Water Prediction, said in a statement.

“Snowpack is heavy in the West and northern plains, and if our long term warm-up coincides with spring rains, already saturated soils will not be able to absorb the increased water, which would lead to increased runoff and potential flooding.”

Although the extreme north could see flooding, the rest of the country could be warmer than average, forecasters said.

“Above-average temperatures are favored for much of the U.S. this spring, with the south-central Plains and eastern U.S. having the highest chance for warmer-than-average conditions,” said Jon Gottschalck, chief of the Operational Prediction Branch of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.

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