The Wettest Water Year in 120 Years of Records Soaks the Midwest and the Mississippi Basin — @H2OTracker

Created by Imgur user Fejetlenfej , a geographer and GIS analyst with a ‘lifelong passion for beautiful maps,’ it highlights the massive expanse of river basins across the country – in particular, those which feed the Mississippi River, in pink.

From H2O Radio:

More rain has fallen in the lower 48 states over the last 12 months than during any similar period in over 120 years of record-keeping. More than 36 inches has fallen on average. According to the Washington Post the record precipitation is an increasing trend, which is expected as climate warming intensifies rainfall.

While most of the country is drought-free, much of the Midwest and south central areas of the country are full of water. The upper Midwest has been inundated by rapid snowmelt and continuing rains. The Mississippi River has risen to one of its highest levels since 1993. The Coast Guard shut down a five-mile stretch in St. Louis to barge traffic which is hard on farmers who are being hit not only with rains and flooding, but also tariffs.

Farther south in Louisiana, Governor John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency due to severe weather. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers opened the Bonnet Carre spillway for the second time this year to protect New Orleans by diverting water into Lake Pontchartrain. The same storm system affected Houston, where thousands and businesses lost power and heavy flooding forced evacuations. Parts of the city received five inches of rain in 90 minutes on Thursday.

In the north, water levels on the Great Lakes are expected to reach record highs this year. Lake Superior rose two inches more than normal in April. About six years ago Lakes Huron and Michigan fell to their lowest points during a 15-year slump that dried up wetlands and forced cargo vessels to lighten loads. Now a spokesperson for the Army Corps told the Detroit Free Press they are at the other extreme, and experts say the prolonged drop-off followed by the recent rise in levels is a result, at least in part, of a warming climate.

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