Saturday, February 01, 2020

Where's the Water?

Parts of the Upper Midwest are currently experiencing very high levels of saturation. There is much more natural water in the region compared to the normal historic levels in this part of the USA. The heavy rains of 2019 have led to record river levels in both Minnesota and Wisconsin and many rivers are flowing at levels not normally seen until late spring. These extraordinary natural water levels can clearly been seen on a new interactive map from the USGS.

The USGS's new map shows you the current levels of natural water across the USA. The National Integrated Water Availability Assessments - Concept Map visualizes the daily estimates of natural water currently held in standing water, snowpack, soils, and shallow groundwater compared to long-term averages. Using the map you can view the natural water levels of approximately 110,000 regions across the contiguous United States.

The dark blue shaded regions on the map are currently experiencing very high levels of natural water compared to normal. On the map natural water storage is compared to the normal regional levels. It is therefore not possible to compare the water storage of different regions. What you can see is if the natural water storage in a region is above or below the normal levels for the last 30 years. You can clearly see on the map that both Minnesota and Wisconsin are currently experiencing much higher natural water levels than usual.

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