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Amidst flooding, nation at record low in droughts

Despite floodwaters receding in Missouri, a good part of Mid-Missouri is once again under a flash flood watch overnight Wednesday into Thursday afternoon. This comes ahead of another impressive upper level disturbance that will once again bring heavy rains to Mid-Missouri through the next 24-36 hours. Ahead of this rain, a flash flood watch has been issued for most of Mid-Missouri.

According to the National Weather Service, a flash flood watch is only issued when there is 50-80 percent of confidence that flooding will occur. This is possible because of the flooding we are already seeing in Mid-Missouri and across the state. Several rivers in Missouri are still in major flood stage and more rain will just prolong the flooding and possible cause more damage.

The ABC 17 Stormtrack Weather Team is calling for another 1-3 inches of rain along and south of I-70 through Tuesday, with isolated spots seeing 4-plus inches. Typically this amount of rain wouldn’t cause any problems, but with an already saturated ground and flooding, water runoff will just cause rivers and streams to once again swell.

Flooding isn’t only occurring in Missouri. Within the last few years California, Louisiana, and South Carolina have experienced historic flooding which has depleted any sign of a drought and that’s what we are experiencing here in Mid-Missouri.

Data released by the U.S. Drought Monitor shows that the lower 48 is experiencing the lowest drought ever recorded in its 17-year history. Currently only 6.1 percent of the contiguous U.S. is experiencing some form of a drought, the previous record low was 7.7 percent back in 2010. It’s a sign that as rain and flooding continue to impact the lower 48 we’ll see less droughts, but more in the way of flooding. To put things in perspective of how wet we’ve been in the past five years here in Missouri and the country, in 2012 nearly three-quarters of the country was experiencing a drought.

Stay tuned to ABC 17 Stormtrack Weather Team as we continue to monitor the flooding situation and more rain through the week.

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