190323_local_flood_rivercrest

After a massive spring storm dumped several inches of snow to our north, the region’s hydrologist is warning that flooding season is far from over.

“Much of the Central and Northern Plains are saturated,” said National Weather Service Hydrologist Scott Watson. “It looks like (St. Joseph) will stay above flood stage at least for the next three or four weeks.”

Watson said the severity of the flooding over the next few months will depend on several factors.

“We have to see how the rainfall and snowmelt develops further north to see how high these next crests are going to go,” he said.

As of Saturday night, the Missouri River at St. Joseph stood at just under 19 feet, which is considered minor flooding. The current river forecast has the Missouri River staying under the 21-foot moderate flood stage through the coming week, but Watson said those predictions will likely change as new moisture enters the river’s basin from additional rainfall and new melting of snow that fell with last week’s system.

“There was quite a bit of snow that fell up to the north,” Watson said. “The initial estimates are showing there are areas with more than two inches of water equivalent.”

The hydrologist, who works for the National Weather Service in Pleasant Hill, said the recent “bomb cyclone” added additional snowfall to the basin, much of which already saw most of its snow melted into liquid.

“All of the snow was melted in that area until the last storm event went through,” said Watson.

He said that system has already prolonged the flooding season, which has already been extended because of existing conditions along the river.

“I don’t know necessarily if it will get as high as what we had earlier this year,” he said. “But we could definitely see some more significant flooding as we go into the spring and into the summer.”

Mark Zinn can be reached

at mark.zinn@knpn.com.

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