MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Rainfall totals are already above average for many areas in the southeast and above average precipitation is expected through the start of Spring. This could result in river and stream flooding in the Mid-South through May.
In February, we have already received over 5 inches of rain, which is more than 2.5 inches above normal for the entire month. Since we are in a La Nina pattern, the jet stream dips farther south. This results in more weather systems moving through our area, which means more rain for our area. This wet pattern is expected to continue through at least April.
Many of our rivers and streams are already starting to rise, but we are still far away from reaching flood stage. Therefore, there is still room for them to hold more water, but there will be some that start spilling over the banks by March. This has a lot to do not only with rain here, but also with rain upstream. As areas to our north receive high amounts of rainfall, that water will travel downstream along the Mississippi River into our area.
According to the National Weather Service, this La Nina pattern has resulted in flooding in the past 33 years 80% of the time. The First Alert Weather Team will be monitoring our rivers over the next few months and will alert you to any changes in the river forecast.