Flood Risk in Iowa, Nebraska Appears Low with Gradual Snow Melt

February 25, 2021

The risk of flooding generally remains low across most of Nebraska and Iowa because the snow across both states is expected to melt gradually in the coming days.

But the amount of ice on some rivers, particularly the Platte River in eastern Nebraska, remains a concern because chunks of ice can create flooding as the it melts by creating ice jams that block the channel of the river. So officials will be watching how the ice melts closely.

National Weather Service hydrologist Dave Pearson said the threat of flooding in the area is never totally eliminated until all the ice on the rivers has melted. Even then, spring flooding is still possible in areas if heavy thunderstorms develop.

But this week’s forecast for temperatures somewhat above freezing during the days and below freezing at night should allow the snow to melt gradually without causing too many problems, said meteorologist Allan Curtis with the Weather Service’s Des Moines office.

Tuesday is expected to be the warmest day this week with highs in the 40s and 50s across much of both states. After that, the high temperatures aren’t expected to be quite as warm in the next few days.

And no significant precipitation is expected for the rest of the week either.

The melting snow could also help ease drought conditions in some areas, and the dry soil should help absorb the water as the ground thaws out over the next couple weeks.

Topics Flood Iowa Nebraska

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