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Flooding Along the Mississippi

Rain, snowmelt, and soil
moisture—those three factors might push portions of the Upper Mississippi River
into major flooding this spring. Meanwhile, the middle and lower reaches of the
river are already well out of their banks.

Intense storms over February
22-24, 2019, caused major flooding along the Middle Mississippi
River. On February 25, 2019, the Landsat 8 satellite acquired images of swollen
portions of the Mississippi River. The video above shows a false-color
view of flooding
near Memphis, Tennessee comparing February 2019 to February 2014. Flood
waters appear blue; vegetation is green; and bare ground is brown. Notice how
the Ohio River and Mississippi River have swelled near Cairo, the southernmost
city in Illinois.

National Weather Service forecasters noted that
higher-than-average precipitation in autumn 2018 saturated soils in the region,
so additional rain or snowmelt from this winter will likely result in excessive
runoff and increased flooding threats.

Rapid snowmelt will also play
a role in flooding this spring in the Midwest. Parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin
have built up snowpack of nearly
25 inches, so melting snow alone could propel many areas into major

Read the full
story here.

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