Home 5 Ag Stories 2020 flood predictions in the Corn Belt more localized than 2019

2020 flood predictions in the Corn Belt more localized than 2019

Photo courtesy of Mills County EMA

We all remember the way things were just one short year ago. People in Iowa were being devastated by the second round of historic flooding in less than 10 years. That set forth major disaster declarations, huge cleanup and repair efforts, and even more scrutiny into how the Army Corps of Engineers handled their flood control protocols. Now after last week’s few days of rain, people are nervous that we could be seeing this all over again. One meteorologist says we may see a different picture in Iowa compared to the rest of the Corn Belt. 

Bryce Anderson is the Senior Ag Meteorologist with DTN, and the sage many of us in agriculture look too to make those seasonal predictions for Ag weather. He says there is definitely a threat for flooding in the Corn Belt once again in 2020. However, there is a silver lining. Anderson says the flooding won’t be as widespread as 2019. He sees a lot of the risk being in the northern and eastern regions of the Midwest.

So, what does that mean for Iowa? Anderson says there will be some sectorized flooding occurring in the Missouri River Valley. It cannot be helped. What Anderson is not calling for is the disastrous levels of flooding like we saw in 2019 for southwest Iowa.

Of course, this also hangs on what happens further up on the flood plain and drainage basin from Iowa. Mainly in the Dakotas. The James River in eastern North and South Dakota has been at flood stage for over a year. If they get large amounts of spring rainfall, things could change in a hurry.

What has really brightened the outlook for this year’s flood potential is the fact threat there have already been spells of warm thawing weather in the Corn Belt, which has lent to an earlier and more gradual thaw.  

There are still many unknowns, but for now, we might be able to breathe a small sigh of relief.