Drought Threatens Low-River Flows in the Mississippi Valley

USDA says low river flows could again be a casualty of drought in the upper Midwest and northern Plains this summer and autumn.

USDA Meteorologist Brad Rippey says NOAA’s latest spring flood outlook is much drier than usual. He says, “You’re not expecting any significant spring flooding across the northern Plains or the upper Midwest—a big departure from what we normally see in these outlooks.”

Largely due, Rippey told USDA Radio, to longer-term changes in environmental conditions, termed ‘antecedent drought’. He says, “And then the relatively dry winter and snowless winter in some of the key watershed areas of the upper Mississippi Valley. Given some of these antecedent conditions, drought in the upper Midwest and long-term drought looking further back, there is at least, some risk that we could see low flows in some of our key watershed areas of the Mississippi and extending into the navigable waters of the middle and lower Mississippi Valley and the lower Ohio Valley.”

Affecting Rippey says, shipping of fertilizer north and grain and oilseed crops south. Not a ‘given, yet’ but Rippey says, something to keep an eye on.

Story courtesy of NAFB News Service and by Matt Kaye/Berns Bureau Washington

More Stories

Today's Top Stories