Monday, April 12, 2021

Forecast: Warm and dry through the summer months, prolonging drought

(Radio Iowa) - Iowans living in the Missouri River basin likely won't have to worry much about flooding this year, as drought appears much more likely. Kevin Low, a hydrologist in the Missouri Basin River Forecast Center, says the outlook for this spring remains warm and dry.

"Over the next three months, warmer-than-normal temperatures are likely over the entire basin," Low says. "Regarding precipitation over the next three months, odds favor below-normal precipitation in the west, but equal chance over the remainder of the basin."

Low says that warm and dry forecast carries on into the summer months.

"Chances lean toward warmer-than-normal temperatures over the entire basin during the months of July, August and September," Low says. "The precipitation outlook suggests that the entire Missouri River basin is likely to receive less-than-normal precipitation during the summer months."

Low says that all translates into very low flood potential across western Iowa and for the northern half of the river's basin.

"Flood potential for April, May and June is pretty much limited to the lower portion of the basin, including southeastern Nebraska, eastern Kansas, and across the state of Missouri," Low says. "This is not unusual, in fact, we've already experienced three or four rounds of flooding since January in the lower basin."

Multiple rounds of historic flooding hit parts of western Iowa in 2019. It's the reverse now, as the latest report from the US Drought Monitor shows parts of western Iowa ranging from moderate to extreme drought.

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