Heather’s Weather Whys: How did the Midwest flooding get so severe?

two weeks ago the Missouri River swelled

to record flood stages around Nebraska

and Iowa to this date major flooding is

still occurring and it's one of the

worst floods the region has ever

experienced was also months in the


I'm explaining what happened in this

week's heather's weather-wise


Tuesday March 12th a storm that would

become known as the bomb cyclone moved

across the plains and dropped a couple

of inches of rain water just four days

later the Missouri River near

Plattsmouth Nebraska crested at forty

point six two feet its highest level on

record flooding on other points of the

river and many of its tributaries

affected almost 60,000 square miles of

Nebraska including ninety-five percent

of the state's population parts of Iowa

Wisconsin and South Dakota are

experiencing similar flooding so how did

things get so bad for such a big region

well it wasn't just one storm it was

many of them over several months

September brought four to six times the

normal rainfall to parts of Iowa and

southern Wisconsin

then in October parts of Kansas Nebraska

and Missouri received four to six times

their normal amount of rainfall when the

cold season started all of that water

was still lurking just below the surface

and it froze along with the rest of the

ground this year the Omaha area right

along the Missouri River saw more than

double their average snowfall and they

certainly weren't alone most of the

Upper Midwest and Northern Plains saw

well above average snowfall totals with

plenty of rounds of snow and cold coming

throughout the winter and remember all

of that snow is piling on top of that

very solidly frozen ground now that

we're getting into the warm season that

snow is melting in a hurry one big

concern for this region it's very flat

so as that snow starts to melt that

water spreads out very quickly almost

like knocking water over at the dinner

table the region where all of that

rainfall runoff and snowmelt was able to

spread out is known as a water resource

region in the case of the Missouri River

it's huge

it actually taps into snowmelt from the


all of that runoff and snowmelt

eventually ends up in the Missouri River

itself and often results in some

springtime flooding but usually nothing

like what's been experienced this year

the United States has made up of 21

different water resource regions all of

them based on geography and runoff and

snow melts ability to flow into a

certain body of water each region is

appropriately named based on that body

of water like the Missouri or the

Mississippi our region also

appropriately named the Great Lakes

region water from the highlighted area

eventually drains into one of the lakes

which then eventually drain into the st.

Lawrence River

then the Gulf of st. Lawrence and

finally the Atlantic Ocean our snow has

pretty much melted in Lake Erie is now

pretty much void of ice so as we go

forward the worst of our flooding is

behind us unfortunately the same can't

be said for parts of the Midwest most of

this spring due to more rain and more

runoff expected to see major flooding

that's gonna do it for this week's

edition of heather's weather-wise I'll

see you next week with a new topic but

until then remember it's good to be a