Flood Outlook

By: News Release
Mar 8th, 2019

The updated 2019 spring flood outlook has been released as of today, March 7th for southeast Minnesota, northeast Iowa, and southwest into central Wisconsin. Attached please find our latest thoughts regarding the potential for spring flooding across the area this year. We have included a list of "talking points" you may use to help with questions you might receive regarding the flood potential.
The FLOOD RISK across the area isĀ ABOVE to WELL-ABOVE NORMAL this spring for the main-stem Mississippi River and the majority of its tributaries. A map has been attached showing the probabilities for each river location for which we forecast. A video briefing is also available which describes the flood risk.
There are many factors playing into the higher than normal risk for flooding this year, including expansive snow cover here and in the headwaters of the Mississippi River, significant river ice in place, frozen ground, and higher-than-normal river levels in many locations already ongoing this winter.
In contrast, our forecast confidence regarding spring precipitation remains on the lower side. The next 7 to 10 days will feature above normal precipitation across the area, but trends by late March and into April are much lower confidence. If we were to see a slower spring snow melt or lighter precipitation, the risk for flooding could be slightly reduced. However, we still anticipate a much higher-than-normal risk for spring flooding this year for much of the area.
If you have questions, please let us at the National Weather Service know. We are happy to provide additional details and/or interviews for our media partners. We are available 24/7 at this email address (nws.lacrosse@noaa.gov) and also by phone at (608) 784-8292.