Flood Potential Outlook
Issued by NWS Wichita, KS
FGUS73 KICT 051525
PROBABILISTIC HYDROLOGIC OUTLOOK
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WICHITA KS
925 AM CST THU MAR 5 2015
...Spring Flood and Water Resources Outlook Number 2...
This outlook applies to the Wichita Hydrologic Service area (HSA)
which includes the Arkansas River...Smoky Hill River...Verdigris
River and Neosho River and their tributaries in central...south
central and southeast Kansas.
...There is a normal to slightly below normal potential of flooding
along most streams and rivers this spring...
Outlooks are routinely issued in February and March to give
advanced notice of possible flooding. They are based on soil
moisture, snowpack magnitude and streamflow at the time the outlook
is issued. The vast majority of flood events in the Wichita Service
Area result from short periods of higher intensity precipitation or
longer periods of excessive precipitation.
This outlook is valid from March 5th through March 19, 2015.
The outlook is based on current climatological conditions. However,
heavy rainfall at any time can lead to flooding, even when the
snowmelt flood potential is low. Convection, not snowmelt is often
the primary driver of spring flooding in the service area.
Currently there is a very shallow snowpack scattered across the
service area. The current snowpack has limited snow water content
and will not be hydrologically significant with regard to spring
flooding. The forecast of warming temperatures through next week will
quickly melt the snow cover.
Precipitation over the last 3 months has been below normal over most
of the service area. Generally the area has received 50 to 90 percent
of its normal precipitation.
Looking at the long term aspect...the past 6 months shows the area
obtaining 70 to 90 percent of its normal precipitation across most of
central and southeast KS. While south central KS received a variance
between 25 to 80 percent of its normal precipitation. Across the area
this equates to precipitation deficits between 1 to 7 inches. Even
with the recent snowfalls, precipitation over the last two weeks have
been below normal.
Recent soil moisture anomaly data continues to show small to medium
moisture deficits across the service area. Although near surface
soils appear to be slightly below to near normal, deeper soils are
dryer than normal
From the latest U.S. Drought Monitor issued March 5, 2015...
(http://www.droughtmonitor.unl.edu) this indicated Moderate Drought
(D1) covering south central KS had expanded slightly eastward over
a few southeast KS counties since 2 weeks prior. Otherwise,
abnormally dry conditions continue over central KS and the remainder
of southeast KS. Severe Drought (D2) continues to impact southern
sections of Harper County.
The Climate Prediction Center`s (CPC) U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook
valid through May 2015, indicates current drought conditions to
dissipate by the end of May.
Over the last two weeks, river flows has decreased to below normal
flows for more of the rivers and streams across the HSA as seen on
the The U.S. Geological Survey average streamflow conditions map.
Only a few basins in central and southeast KS are registering normal
flows. (http://waterwatch.usgs.gov). According to the Extended
Streamflow Model, there is a 50 percent greater chance of minor
flooding across the lower Neosho Basin at river forecast points of
Parsons and Oswego.
The area reservoirs are either near the top of their conservation
pools or slightly in flood control pools. The U.S. Corps of Engineers
data indicates that the Corps reservoirs currently have an average of
101 percent of their flood-control storage available at this time.
The Climate Prediction Center (CPC) Outlook for the period valid
through May, calls for equal chances of normal, above normal, and
below normal precipitation and temperatures.
The 8-14 day CPC Outlook (http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov) indicates
a switch to probabilities of above normal temperatures with the
continued trend of near normal precipitation over the area.
Based upon the above information, there is a normal to slightly below
normal risk of spring flooding across the Wichita Service Area.
The will be the last issuance of the Spring Flood and Water Resources
Outlook this year.
Visit our home page at
www.weather.gov/wichita for more weather and flood information.