[UPDATE] - AgDay caught up with Louisiana farmer Marty Wooldridge about the flooding he and others in his area have experienced so far this spring. Here's what he had to say.
April showers bring May flowers – but they can also bring farmer headaches. Farmers in areas that include Louisiana and Texas already got more water in March than they wanted, with large areas of flash flooding reported.
And spring has either barely begun (meteorological spring begins March 1) or has yet to begin (astronomical spring begins March 20), depending on who you ask. Who’s at risk for excessive rainfall as the season rolls along?
According to NOAA, the area at-risk is fairly sizable. Much of the Mississippi River basin is marked as a minor or moderate threat for springtime flooding in NOAA’s risk assessment, including the threat of additional flooding in the Mid-South and Southeast.
2016 Spring Flood Risk
NOAA researchers say they develop this assessment through multiple factors that includes stream flow, snow pack, rate of snow melt, frost depth, soil saturation and more. Tom Graziano, acting director of NOAA’s National Water Center, adds that flooding is more common – and more dangerous – than most people realize.
“It floods somewhere in the U.S. every day, and flooding is the No. 1 cause of weather-related deaths in the U.S.,” he says.
Earlier in March, NOAA climate forecasters said El Niño conditions remain steady but are expected to weaken as spring progresses. For the time being, El Niño gives forecasters confidence it will serve as a “strong climate signal” that shapes weather patterns over the next several months.
That includes April through June precipitation outlook with favorable above-average precipitation for the following areas:
- Most of California
- Gulf Coast
“We encourage people to be prepared for the range of spring weather threats, including flooding, and tune into local forecasts to monitor their personal risk,” Graziano says.
NOAA offered additional insights from its Spring Outlook report in the video below.
For more ag weather news, forecasts and current conditions, visit www.AgWeb.com/weather.