What is an areal flood warning?

It's been a wet end to 2018, as a slow and steady rain has been tracking through the region. This rain eventually led to rushing water, closed roads and fog for many locations Monday afternoon. 

Thanks to an already saturated ground, the gradual rise of water prompted the National Weather Service to issue an areal flood warning for many locations across the region. There are many flooding products that we typically see here in Mid-Missouri and it's important to be able to differentiate between them, especially considering that flooding is a top weather related killer. 

Flood Advisory

Issued when a specific weather event that is forecast to occur may become a nuisance. A Flood Advisory is issued when flooding is not expected to be bad enough to issue a warning.

Areal Flood Warning

Occurs from a prolonged period of rain with water gradually rising. Life and loss of property can occur in this situation. (6 hours or more.)

Flash Flood Warning

Occurs when water rises rapidly and violently over a short period of time. Life and loss of property can occur in this situation. (6 hours or less.)

Flood Warning

Flooding is occurring or will occur along a river or waterway. The flood waters usually can stay in play for days or even weeks after rain has tracked through the region. Water will rise above, or stay elevated above, flood stage for this waterway. 

So why was an areal flood warning issued for Mid-Missouri? 

Thanks to an already saturated ground from on top of the 3-plus inches of rain seen today, flood prone areas saw a gradual rise of flood waters Monday.

It's easier to understand this using the sponge analogy. Currently the soil is like a sponge soaked in water, with nowhere else for the water to go. This causes the water to continue to rise and build up leading to the flooded areas. Because of the wet ground, it could take some time for the floodwaters over the roadways to recede.

Stay with ABC 17 News as we continue to monitor the rainfall and the upcoming storm system that will affect us later this week.

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