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Illinois Climatologist: High Chance of Spring Flooding
Illinois Ag Connection - 02/19/2020

The Upper Mississippi River and Missouri River regions have a high to very high chance of spring flooding, according to Illinois State Climatologist Trent Ford.

"A lot of that is based on current conditions, so even though we haven't seen a whole lot of flooding in the Upper Midwest yet this season, soils are at or near saturation," he told RFD Radio Network.

Also adding to the concern is a pretty strong snowpack in the Upper Midwest.

"And if that does melt very quickly, because of rain or a strong change in warming of temperatures come this spring, that could create problems too," Ford said.

Recent trends in spring precipitation must also be considered.

"We've seen our springs get wetter over the last several decades and so it's more likely that we'll see a wetter than normal spring," Ford said.

All of those factors add up to "strongly elevated chances of flooding" this spring.

"Producers that get impacted along those rivers should take note of," Ford said. "Also something that's happening right now is really heavy persistent precipitation in the southeast region."

That may not be a big concern for producers in northern and central Illinois.

"However, all of that rain that is flowing through the Tennessee and the Ohio Rivers will make it's way through southern Illinois," Ford said.

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