Here’s what kind of flooding SC should expect this spring, the NWS forecasts

South Carolina should have a wet spring, but nothing extreme enough to cause significant, widespread flooding, national weather experts say.

But that doesn’t mean the Palmetto State will be spared from flooding all together either.

The National Weather Service recently released its 2023 national hydrologic assessment, which offers an analysis of flood risk, water supply, ice breakup and jam flooding for spring 2023. The analysis is based on late summer, fall and winter precipitation, frost depth, soil saturation levels, snowpack, current streamflow and projected spring weather.

SC and Southeast spring flooding forecast

A map of where flooding might occur in the U.S. this spring.
A map of where flooding might occur in the U.S. this spring.

South Carolina is expected to see just scatterings of minor flooding from April through May, mainly in the Midlands and Lowcountry, the assessment shows. The Midlands also has a chance of moderate flooding.

Here’s how the NWS categorizes different levels of possible flooding.

  • Minor Flooding: Minimal or no property damage, but possibly some public threat, such as flooding of roads.

  • Moderate Flooding: Some flooding of structures and roads near streams. Some evacuations of people and or transfer of property to higher elevations.

  • Major Flooding: Extensive flooding of structures and roads. Significant evacuations of people and or transfer of property to higher elevations.

The assessment also forecasts interior portions of the Southeast will see minor flooding.

Flooding forecast for U.S.

According to the assessment, approximately 146 million Americans are at risk for flooding in their communities this spring, with nearly 6.4 million at risk for moderate flooding and 1.4 million at risk for major flooding.

The upper Mississippi River has the potential for major flooding due to an active winter with above normal snowpack. Meanwhile, moderate flooding is expected along the Red River of the North in North Dakota and the James River in South Dakota. California has already seen widespread flooding this year. Minor to moderate flooding is also expected for higher elevation levels in the Sierra Nevada, Great Basin and portions of the Central Rockies.

Other SC spring weather predictions

The extended forecast from the Farmer’s Almanac expect scattered showers in early April. However, Farmer’s Almanac notes that the weather should be dry and pleasant for Easter on April 9 and for the much of the Masters Tournament in nearby Augusta, which will run from April 6-9 this year.

South Carolina should see continued showers and thunderstorms through much of May.

Founded in 1818, the Farmers’ Almanac uses a secret formula that includes components such as “sunspot activity, tidal action, the position of the planet,” to predict long-range weather forecasts. The forecasts are typically made two years in advance. Fans of the Farmers’ Almanac have, over the years, calculated that the predictions are accurate 80-85% of the time.

Meanwhile, the NWS Climate Prediction Center predicts that South Carolina has equal changes of above average and below average rainfall in April and May. Also, temperatures have a 40%-50% chance of leaning above normal in April and May.