Flood Potential Outlook
Issued by NWS Cleveland, OH
FGUS71 KCLE 021855
Winter/Spring Flood Potential Outlook
National Weather Service CLEVELAND OH
155 PM EST Thu Feb 2 2017
...BELOW NORMAL FLOOD RISK FOR THE LAKE ERIE AND OHIO RIVER
BASINS THROUGH FEBRUARY 16TH...
This is the third flood potential outlook of the 2017 season.
Flood outlooks will be issued every two weeks into early spring
to summarize basin conditions and to assess the potential for
flooding. The outlooks are based on current and forecast
hydrometeorological conditions. This includes snow cover and water
equivalent, creek and river levels and the amount of ice on them,
along with the expected conditions during the next two weeks.
Flooding could occur with water levels having minor impacts even
with a below normal outlook.
...CURRENT CONDITIONS SUMMARY...
Temperatures the third week of January were 10 to 25 F degrees
above-normal, followed by a more seasonable week at the end of the
month. A mix of rain and snow occurred between the the 24th and
the 31st, followed by lake effect snow for several days.
Streamflows were near to slightly above normal across the region,
with no ongoing flooding. The week long forecast calls for
accumulating lake effect snow, greatest the higher terrain of the
snowbelt. The climate prediction center outlooks for the next two
weeks favor below normal temperatures. This will favor additional
lake effect snow and increased snow pack. Top soils, currently
above freezing in most locations, are projected to be frozen
across the entire region by the middle of February. An expansion
of river ice is also likely without periodic thaws. The flood risk
is categorized as below normal due to the forecasted extended
period of freezing temperatures.
In the Snowbelt (NE OH/NW PA)
Heavy snowfall events in late January were followed by drier lake
effect by early February. Overall the standing snow water
equivalent at the time of this issuance ranged from 2 to 3 inches
in the higher terrain of the upper French Creek basin, to around 1
to 2 inches elsewhere. Snow depths ranged from a foot in
Jefferson TWP in Ashtabula County Ohio, extending to Meadville and
Corry in northwest Pennsylvania.
Soil temperatures (2 below top soil) dropped below freezing for
the higher terrain of Erie and Crawford Counties in Pennsylvania.
For the lower elevations, soil temperatures were approaching
freezing but remained above especially at the 4 depth.
Continued lake effect snows will support a modest expansion of the
snowpack over the next two weeks. The return of seasonable air
over the last week suggest the likelihood of developing river ice.
Any ice at this time would be too thin to produce any concerns
for ice jams. Streamflows at the time of this issuance were at or
above normal due to the recent wet period and periodic thaws.
Elsewhere Across the Region
Snow depths outside of the snowbelt an inch or less. Soil
temperatures remained above freezing at the 2 and 4 depths.
Streamflows were near to slightly above normal at the time of
this issuance. The projected below freezing temperatures for the
next two weeks will help freeze the ground cover, and support an
expansion of snowpack should the area receive any synoptic snow
...TEMPERATURE AND PRECIPITATION OUTLOOK...
The region will locked in a cool pattern for the next few weeks.
A dry northwest flow is expected which will not support
significant lake effect events. However, periodic lake effect snow
showers are expected to continually increase the snowpack
especially over the snowbelt.
The precipitation outlooks favor above normal amounts for the
next two weeks. Given the temperature outlooks this favors most
if not all precipitation events as snowfall.
...FLOOD POTENTIAL OUTLOOK...
Flood risk during the next two weeks is below normal for region.
Current river levels are high now, but should gradually subside.
At this time the pattern is likely to be cold enough to limit the
melting of the snow pack. Also, the pattern is not favorable for
producing heavy rain in our region through mid February.
Real time river information and probabilistic forecast for specific
locations along rivers across the region can be found on the
internet at www.weather.gov/cle. Since conditions can change,
please refer to the latest flood watches, warnings, and statements
for additional information.