Flood Potential Outlook
Issued by NWS Cleveland, OH

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WINTER/SPRING FLOOD POTENTIAL OUTLOOK
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CLEVELAND OH
419 PM EST THU MAR 19 2015


...WINTER/SPRING FLOOD OUTLOOK NUMBER 6...

...THE FLOOD THREAT IS EXPECTED TO BE NEAR NORMAL ACROSS NORTHWEST
PENNSYLVANIA AND NORTHERN OHIO THROUGH LATE MARCH...

AN ABOVE NORMAL POTENTIAL FOR FLOODING MEANS WIDESPREAD FLOODING
COULD OCCUR WITH WATER LEVELS POSSIBLY HAVING MODERATE OR MAJOR
IMPACTS. A NORMAL FLOOD POTENTIAL MEANS OCCASIONAL FLOODING COULD
OCCUR WITH WATER LEVELS HAVING MINOR IMPACTS. THIS IS THE SIXTH
ISSUANCE OF THE WINTER AND SPRING FLOOD OUTLOOK ISSUED BY THE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN CLEVELAND. FLOOD OUTLOOKS ARE ISSUED
BIWEEKLY DURING THE WINTER AND EARLY SPRING TO SUMMARIZE CURRENT
CONDITIONS AND ASSESS THE POTENTIAL FOR FLOODING ACROSS NORTHERN
OHIO AND NORTHWEST PENNSYLVANIA.

FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN ASSESSING FLOOD POTENTIAL THIS TIME OF
YEAR ARE CURRENT RIVER AND RESERVOIR LEVELS...SNOW PACK DEPTH AND
WATER CONTENT...ICE COVERAGE ON AREA RIVERS AND THE LAKE...SOIL
MOISTURE...AND WIDESPREAD HEAVY RAINFALL POTENTIAL.

...OVERVIEW...
TEMPERATURES WELL BELOW NORMAL AT THE BEGINNING OF THE MONTH HAVE
MODERATED TO NEAR OR SLIGHTLY ABOVE NORMAL FOR THE LAST WEEK TO TEN
DAYS. THE SNOWPACK HAS BEEN ELIMINATED ACROSS NORTHERN OHIO BUT
SEVERAL INCHES OF SNOW REMAINS ACROSS INLAND SECTIONS OF NORTHWEST
PENNSYLVANIA. ICE HAS DIMINISHED ON MOST RIVERS AND STREAMS IN
NORTHERN OHIO WITH AGAIN THE EXCEPTION OF NORTHWEST PENNSYLVANIA
WHERE THE THAW HAS BEEN SOMEWHAT SLOWER. THE TREND TOWARD BELOW
NORMAL TEMPERATURES CAN BE EXPECTED INTO EARLY APRIL THEREFORE ANY
REMAINING ICE SHOULD BE SLOW TO MELT WHICH WOULD LEAD TO A NORMAL
FLOOD RISK OVER THE NEXT TWO WEEKS.

...PRECIPITATION AND TEMPERATURE FORECASTS...
THE SHORT TERM FORECASTS INDICATE A BRIEF WARM-UP INTO THE FIRST
HALF OF THE WEEKEND WHICH COULD ELIMINATE THE REMAINING SNOWPACK
ACROSS NORTHWEST PENNSYLVANIA. THE LONG TERM OUTLOOK FOR THE
REMAINDER OF THE MONTH EXPECTS TEMPERATURES TO REMAIN BELOW NORMAL
WITH PRECIPITATION NEAR OR A LITTLE ABOVE NORMAL.

...SNOW COVER...
AT THE TIME OF THIS ISSUANCE THE SNOWPACK WAS REDUCED TO SEVERAL
INCHES ACROSS INLAND AREAS OF NORTHWEST PENNSYLVANIA AND GENERALLY
NO SNOW ACROSS NORTHERN OHIO. THE WATER EQUIVALENT OF ANY REMAINING
SNOW IS UP TO AN INCH MAINLY ACROSS EASTERN PARTS OF ERIE AND
CRAWFORD COUNTIES IN NORTHWEST PENNSYLVANIA.

...ICE COVERAGE...
MOST AREA RIVERS HAVE LIMITED ICE COVERAGE WITH THE EXCEPTION OF
NORTHWEST PENNSYLVANIA. IN ADDITION ICE ON LAKE ERIE HAS DECREASED
ACROSS THE WESTERN BASIN ALLOWING ANY REMAINING ICE FROM THOSE
TRIBUTARIES TO FLOW INTO THE LAKE. A FEW RIVER GAGES ARE STILL BEING
AFFECTED BY ICE CONDITIONS AND ARE REPORTING INACCURATE STAGE
READINGS. RIVER OBSERVERS SHOULD REPORT SIGNIFICANT ICE JAMS TO THE
LOCAL AUTHORITIES WHO WILL INFORM THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE.

...CURRENT RIVER AND RESERVOIR LEVELS...
ALL RIVERS AND CREEKS ACROSS THE REGION ARE RUNNING NEAR OR SLIGHTLY
ABOVE NORMAL STREAM FLOWS. THE MAJORITY OF THE LOCAL RESERVOIRS ARE
RUNNING AT OR SLIGHTLY ABOVE THE IDEAL WINTER POOL LEVELS. THE
AMOUNT OF REMAINING FLOOD STORAGE REMAINS MODERATE WITH MOST
RESERVOIRS REPORTING 25% OR LESS OF USAGE AT THE TIME OF THIS
ISSUANCE BUT HIGHER AMOUNTS OF FLOOD STORAGE USED WERE OBSERVED
ACROSS A FEW EASTERN BASINS.

...SOIL MOISTURE...
TOP SOILS REMAIN PARTIALLY FROZEN. THE SPRINGSBORO PENNSYLVANIA SOIL
TEMPERATURE READING SHOWS THE FROST DEPTH TO SIX INCHES. THE
POTENTIAL FOR RAPID RUNOFF AND FLOODING HAS DECREASED BUT WILL
REMAIN A THREAT IN ANY FUTURE RAIN OR SNOW MELT EVENTS.

...LONG TERM OUTLOOKS...
THE LONG-RANGE RIVER OUTLOOKS AND THE PROBABILITY OF EXCEEDING FLOOD
STAGE OR THE CHANCES OF FLOODING RELATIVE TO NORMAL AT SPECIFIC
FORECAST POINTS DURING THE NEXT 90 DAYS IS NEAR NORMAL. THE ENSO
OUTLOOK IS PREDICTING A 50-60% CHANCE OF EL NINO CONDITIONS
CONTINUING DURING THE NEXT COUPLE OF MONTHS BUT WITH A DECREASING
CHANCE INTO SPRING AND SUMMER. THE LONG TERM TEMPERATURE AND
PRECIPITATION OUTLOOKS SHOW NEUTRAL CONDITIONS THROUGH SPRING.

...FLOOD POTENTIAL SUMMARY AND OUTLOOK...
THE DECREASED SNOWPACK AND RIVER ICE SUGGESTS A NEAR NORMAL RISK FOR
FLOODING. THE FLOOD CHANCES FOR THE REST OF MARCH WILL ONLY BE
HEIGHTENED IF ANY REMAINING SNOWPACK AND ICE MELTS RAPIDLY. HOWEVER
BASED ON CLIMATOLOGY AND EXPECTED NORMAL PRECIPITATION THIS SPRING
THE OUTLOOK FOR FLOODING THE REST OF THE SPRING IS NEAR NORMAL.
CLIMATOLOGY FAVORS MARCH AND APRIL AS THE MOST FREQUENT PERIOD FOR
FLOODS.

THE NEXT WINTER/SPRING FLOOD OUTLOOK WILL BE ISSUED ON APRIL 2ND.

$$
BM





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