Nearly half of the Lower 48 states face a risk of moderate to major flooding through May.
Above-average precipitation is forecast from the Northern Plains to the entire East Coast.
Spring 2020 is expected to bring widespread flooding to the central and southeastern United States.
However, it is not predicted to be as severe or prolonged as last year’s historic floods, according to an outlook issued Thursday by NOAA.
One-third of the nation is at risk of at least minor flooding.
Twenty-three states from the Northern Plains to the Gulf Coast are forecast to have moderate to major flooding from March through May.
The greatest flood risks were calculated for parts of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Illinois and Iowa.
A combination of factors, including ongoing rainfall, highly saturated soils and increased odds of above-average precipitation this spring, will contribute to the higher likelihood of flooding in the central and southeastern U.S.
Greatest Flooding Threats for Spring 2020
NOAA said the areas with the greatest threat for moderate to major flooding include the upper and mid-Mississippi River basins, Missouri River Basin and the Red River of the North.
Moderate flooding is likely in the Ohio, Cumberland, Tennessee and Missouri River basins, as well as the lower Mississippi River Basin and its tributaries.
Soil moisture is already at high levels in most of the central U.S., and many rivers in the central and eastern states are already running high. Therefore, any locally heavy rainfall in these high-risk areas could trigger flooding.
“Nearly every day, dangerous flooding occurs somewhere in the United States, and widespread flooding is in the forecast for many states in the months ahead. Working with our partners across the National Weather Service, we provide the best available forecast products to enhance resilience in communities at greatest risk,” said Ed Clark, director of NOAA’s National Water Center in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
Above-average precipitation is forecast from the Northern Plains south and eastward to the Mississippi and Ohio valleys and the East from April through June. A large portion of Alaska is also expected to have above-average precipitation this spring.
The Ohio Valley and southern Great Lakes have the highest odds of above-average precipitation over the next three months.
Meanwhile, below-average precipitation is favored in parts of the West, including the Pacific Northwest, Great Basin, Four Corners region and western and southern Texas.
Portions of Oregon, far Northern California and northwestern Nevada have the highest odds of being drier than average from April through June.
NOAA expects drought conditions to persist and expand throughout California in the coming months.
Drought is likely to persist in the central and southern Rocky Mountains, Southern Plains, South Texas and parts of the Pacific Northwest.
Most of the U.S. will likely have warmer-than-average temperatures from April through June.
The best chance of above-average warmth will be from California and southern Oregon south and eastward to the southern Great Basin, Desert Southwest, Texas, the Gulf Coast and the East.