Environment
8:33 am
Mon April 21, 2014

Snowy Winter Not Causing Flood Concerns On Missouri River

The Missouri River in Montana.
The Missouri River in Montana.
Credit montanatom1950 on Flickr

A long winter of brutally cold temperatures and seemingly endless snowfall led to a deep snowpack in the mountains at the headwaters of the Missouri River. But that doesn’t necessarily mean a higher risk of flooding this spring. 

2011 brought major flooding to many areas along the Missouri River. This year, the snow pack is comparable to those levels. But Kevin Low of the National Weather Service says even though the snow is starting to melt, there are a few differences this year.

"Number one, the snow continued to accumulate in 2011 into May," says Low. "And we had a lot more plains snow pack that melted off in March and April."

At this time in 2011 the reservoirs were almost full. This caused a lot of the major flooding. But this year, says Low, "We had relatively no plains snow melt.  And so the storage and the reservoir is still available."

Still, according to Low, rain and thunderstorms can mix with snow melt. So isolated flooding is always a risk this time of year in Missouri, southern Iowa and eastern Kansas.