National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientists on Thursday said "conditions are primed" for flooding in the Plains and Midwest that "could be worse than anything we have seen in recent years."
Mary Erikson, deputy director of NOAA's National Weather Service, said the "stage is set for record flooding now through May," because river levels are already high, soil moisture is above-normal, and there is substantial snowpack in the northern Plains, The Washington Post reports.
This week, there was deadly flooding in Nebraska and Missouri, and that could be just "a preview" of what might happen this spring. "This is potentially an unprecedented flood season," said Edward Clark, director of NOAA's National Weather Center. "It may become more dire in the coming weeks." The NOAA's spring flood outlook has 200 million Americans at risk, primarily those living near the upper, middle, and lower Mississippi River basins; the Great Lakes; as well as the eastern Missouri, lower Ohio, lower Cumberland, and Tennessee River basins.