Spring 2020 flood outlook

4 months 16 hours 35 minutes ago Thursday, April 02 2020 Apr 2, 2020 Thursday, April 02, 2020 6:32:00 PM CDT April 02, 2020 in Weather
By: Matt Beckwith, KOMU 8 Meteorologist
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COLUMBIA - 2019 was a devastating year for communities along the Missouri river as river gauges crested at historic numbers that rivaled levels from 1993.

Rainfall, soil saturation and snow cover through the Missouri River basin are important factors when looking at the outlook for this spring.

2020 has already been a wet year with above average snowfall through the winter and above average rainfall through March. The weather pattern for the rest of the spring looks wet and that is leading to the concern for flooding.

Soil is saturated through the entire basin, and that means any water that falls on top of it is going to run straight off into the basin, but there is one large aspect of this year that is much different from last year.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Melissa Mainhart notes that last year “we had saturated soils, we had a lot of precipitation that fell over the basin during the spring, but what's going to make this year different than last year is we had way more snow cover (last year).

Overall flooding is expected along the Missouri river this spring. Each location’s probability of exceeding moderate flood stage is higher than the historical average. The three areas most likely to exceed moderate flood stage are Glasgow, Jefferson City and Hermann. 

Glasgow which has an 89% chance of exceeding 27 feet. The impacts folks can expect at this level are that many agricultural levees are overtopped and widespread flooding of rural areas occurs

Jefferson City and Hermann both have a 60 percent chance of exceeding moderate flood stage. When this happens in Jefferson City, the Katy Trail floods near Rocheport and the levee protecting McBaine is breached with impacts continuing to increase as water levels rise.

Miami, Chamois and Boonville’s probability of exceeding moderate flood stage is significantly lower than the other parts of our viewing area, but flooding does remain possible.

When it comes to flooding it’s always a good to prepare. You can prepare by having a plan and monitoring the flooding forecast as spring rainfall continues to fall. We'll keep you advised on KOMU 8 News.

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