Early Cold Air Compounding Concerns For 2020 Flood Threat

(WNAX) — As colder temperatures descend on the northern plains, that will freeze much of the soil moisture in place and raise the chances of spring flooding. Doug Kluck is Central Region Climate Services Director for the National Weather Service in Kansas City and says they are watching a number of elements…

“So you’ve got wet soils; you got…you got high reservoirs; you got to hi base flow. In other words, it’s going to take a while to drain even, even the rivers like the James River for example, take a very long time to drain out and probably won’t until next spring and that’s only if we don’t get sort of average or above normal precipitation during those times.”

The national winter outlook calls for above normal snow for most of the northern plains. Kluck says there are not strong climate drivers right now…

“Something we lean on a lot in the climate world in terms of outlooks is El Nino and La Nina and we don’t have strong one or the other pushing our forecast one way or the other, so, so those outlooks, although based on the best science that we have; have a relatively low confidence level attached to them. So we’re hoping, we’re actually hoping that we’re wrong in this case.”

Kluck says a quiet weather pattern would be the best case…

“But what we really need to happen is to have a relatively dry and relatively warm winter season, so we can get rid of some of the water that’s already existing across the entire Missouri and upper; upper Midwest as matter of fact.”

Kluck says snowpack is already accumulating in the Rocky Mountain reach of the Missouri River.