Flood Potential Outlook
Issued by NWS Cleveland, OH

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WINTER/SPRING FLOOD POTENTIAL OUTLOOK
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CLEVELAND OH
435 AM EST FRI MAR 7 2014

...WINTER/SPRING FLOOD OUTLOOK NUMBER 5...

...THERE IS AN ABOVE NORMAL RISK OF FLOODING ACROSS NORTHWEST
PENNSYLVANIA AND NORTHERN OHIO THROUGH MID TO LATE MARCH...

AN ABOVE NORMAL FLOOD POTENTIAL MEANS WIDESPREAD FLOODING COULD
OCCUR WITH WATER LEVELS POSSIBLY REACHING MODERATE OR MAJOR
IMPACTS.

THIS IS THE FIFTH 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...
ICE COVERAGE ON AREA RIVERS AND LAKE ERIE REMAINED EXTENSIVE OVER
THE PAST WEEK. THIS COMBINED WITH NUMEROUS ICE JAMS ALREADY
DEVELOPED ALONG MANY RIVERS WILL POSE A SIGNIFICANT THREAT FOR
FLOODING WHEN THE NEXT THAW AND RAIN EVENT IMPACT THE AREA. THE SOIL
REMAINS FROZEN UPWARDS OF A FOOT DEEP...PREVENTING ABSORPTION OF
RUNOFF. THE SNOWPACK CONTINUED TO SLOWLY REDUCE...HOWEVER WATER
EQUIVALENTS OF 0.5" TO 1.00" REMAINS IN MANY NORTHERN OHIO AND
NORTHWEST PENNSYLVANIA BASINS. THE COMBINATION OF THESE FACTORS IS
NECESSITATING A HIGHER THAN NORMAL FLOOD THREAT THROUGH MID MARCH.

...CURRENT RIVER AND RESERVOIR LEVELS...
MOST RESERVOIR LEVELS IN THE REGION ARE AT OR ABOVE NORMAL WINTER
POOL LEVELS. GROUND WATER LEVELS ARE NEAR NORMAL. WATER SUPPLY
SHORTAGES ARE NOT ANTICIPATED THIS SPRING.

...SNOW COVER...
AT THE TIME OF THIS ISSUANCE...THE SNOWPACK WAS DEEPEST IN
NORTHWESTERN OHIO INCLUDING THE MAUMEE RIVER BASIN WHERE SNOW DEPTHS
OF 5 TO 7 INCHES WERE REPORTED. FROM THE SANDUSKY RIVER BASIN EAST
TO THE CUYAHOGA RIVER THE SNOW DEPTH WAS AVERAGING 2 TO 3 INCHES.
AWAY FROM THE SNOWBELT REGION IN THE MAHONING...MUSKINGUM...AND
MOHICAN RIVER VALLEYS THE SNOW DEPTH IS LESS THAN AN INCH. IN
EXTREME NORTHEAST OHIO AND NORTHWEST PENNSYLVANIA THE SNOW DEPTHS
ARE BETWEEN 2 AND 5 INCHES ON AVERAGE. A BRIEF THAW WILL REDUCE
THE SNOWPACK BUT ADDITIONAL SNOW IS FORECASTED DURING THE NEXT
WEEK. THE OVERALL SNOW WATER EQUIVALENT OF THE SNOWPACK IS REDUCED
TO AN INCH OR LESS IN MOST AREAS.

...ICE COVERAGE...
EXTENSIVE ICE COVERAGE WAS OBSERVED ACROSS ALL LAKE ERIE DRAINAGE
RIVERS. THE NORTHERN RIVERS REMAIN ICE COVERED FOR SEVERAL MILES
UPSTREAM FROM THEIR MOUTHS IN LAKE ERIE. THIS REMAINING ICE HAS
BLOCKED THE ICE FLOES FROM FLUSHING OUT OF THE RIVERS. A SLIGHT
WARM UP IS EXPECTED EARLY IN THE FORECAST BUT THE GENERAL TREND
FOR TEMPERATURES REMAINS BELOW NORMAL THROUGH MID MARCH. THE ICE
THICKNESS IS SUFFICIENT FOR SIGNIFICANT ICE JAMS WHICH CAN TEAR UP
RIVERSIDE PROPERTY AND TREES AND CAUSE RAPID RIVER RISES AND
FALLS. HOWEVER OVERALL BELOW NORMAL STREAMFLOWS LATE THIS WINTER
PERIOD SUGGESTS THAT EVEN IF AN ICE JAM OCCURS...IT IS POSSIBLE
THAT THE IMPACTS WOULD BE LIMITED TO THE RIVERBED. ICE JAM PRONE
AREAS SUCH AS BRIDGE ABUTMENTS AND BENDS IN THE RIVERS SHOULD BE
MONITORED AND THE NWS ALERTED SHOULD JAMMING BE OBSERVED. LAKE
ERIE ICE COVERAGE IS AT 96% WITH MOST OF THE MOUTHS OF THE RIVERS
BLOCKED. THIS COULD PROVE A HAZARD AS ICE FLOES HAVE BUILT UP
ALONG THE MOUTHS OF THE RIVERS.

SOME NOTABLE ICE JAMS LOCATIONS AT TIME OF ISSUANCE:
*GRAND RIVER AT PAINESVILLE FROM THE MAIN ST BRIDGE TO THE LAKE
*SANDUSKY RIVER NEAR PLEASANT (SENECA/SANDUSKY COUNTY LINE) AND
 NORTH OF FREEMONT AROUND THE I-90 BRIDGE TO THE LAKE
*MAHONING RIVER BETWEEN WARREN AND LEAVITTSBURG NEAR PARKMAN RD BRIDGE
*HURON RIVER IN MILAN FROM THE MILAN-MASON RD BRIDGE TO THE LAKE
 AND ON THE WEST BRANCH NEAR MONROEVILLE
*CHAGRIN RIVER AT WILLOUGHBY AT THE GLISON PKWY BRIDGE TO THE LAKE
*VERMILION RIVER AT VERMILION AT MILL HOLLOWS AND TWO MORE NEAR
 THE RAILROAD TRACKS IN TOWN
*PORTAGE RIVER NEAR ELMORE ICED TO THE LAKE
*MAUMEE RIVER UPSTREAM OF GRAND RAPIDS AND NEAR PERRYSBURG TO THE LAKE
*FRENCH CREEK NEAR HAYFIELD AND VERNON LINE ALONG THE SOUTH
 MOSIERTOWN RD BRIDGE EXTENDING FOR 1 MILE


...SOIL MOISTURE...
SEASONAL FROZEN GROUND CAN HAVE A VERY SIGNIFICANT EFFECT ON THE
AMOUNT OF RUNOFF. LACK OF VEGETATION DURING THE WINTER...SHALLOW
SNOW COVER...AND VERY COLD TEMPERATURES PRODUCE OPTIMAL
CONDITIONS FOR DEEP FROST PENETRATION. A GROUND TEMPERATURE
READING IN SPRINGSBORO PENNSYLVANIA SHOWS A FROST DEPTH OF 10
INCHES...AND A SITE IN SOUTHEAST OHIO SHOWS A DEPTH OF 6 INCHES.

...PRECIPITATION AND TEMPERATURE FORECASTS...
THE TEMPERATURE FORECAST CONTINUES TO BE BELOW NORMAL OVER THE
REGION THROUGH NEXT WEEK. THE CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER`S 8-14 DAY
OUTLOOKS ALSO SUGGESTS BELOW NORMAL PRECIPITATION.

...LONG TERM OUTLOOKS...
THE ENSO CYCLE IN THE PACIFIC OCEAN IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE TO
REMAIN NEUTRAL AND NOT PLAY A NOTABLE ROLE ON THE LARGE SCALE
WEATHER PATTERN OVER THE U.S. THIS WINTER AND SPRING. THE CLIMATE
PREDICTION CENTER`S FORECASTS FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE WINTER ARE
FOR EQUAL CHANCES OF ABOVE...BELOW... AND NORMAL TEMPERATURE AND
ABOVE NORMAL PRECIPITATION.

...FLOOD POTENTIAL SUMMARY AND OUTLOOK...
BASED ON THE ABOVE INFORMATION...THE WINTER/SPRING FLOOD
POTENTIAL DUE TO SNOWMELT AND ICE JAMS OVER THE NEXT 2 WEEKS IS
ABOVE NORMAL. IN THE LONG TERM THE FLOOD POTENTIAL DUE TO
SNOWMELT IS NEAR NORMAL WITH A HIGHER THAN NORMAL THREAT OF ICE
JAM FLOODING. IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE HOWEVER THAT MAJOR FLOODING
DOES NOT OCCUR FROM SNOW MELT ALONE. RAINFALL...HOW MUCH AND IN
HOW SHORT A PERIOD OF TIME...IS THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR IN
DETERMINING THE SEVERITY OF FLOODING.

ANOTHER WINTER/SPRING FLOOD POTENTIAL OUTLOOK WILL BE ISSUED BY
8 AM FRIDAY MARCH 21.

REAL TIME RIVER INFORMATION AND PROBABILISTIC FORECASTS FOR
SPECIFIC LOCATIONS ALONG RIVERS ACROSS NORTHERN OHIO AND
NORTHWEST PENNSYLVANIA CAN BE FOUND ON THE INTERNET AT
HTTP://WWW.ERH.NOAA.GOV/CLE/ AND CLICKING THE /RIVERS AND LAKES
AHPS/ LINK ON THE LEFT HAND SIDE.

FOR 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...
REFER TO WWW.WEATHER.GOV/OHRFC AND CLICK ON THE 90-DAY RIVER
OUTLOOK ON THE LEFT HAND SIDE OF THE PAGE. CLICK ON FLOOD CHC VS
NORMAL TO VIEW THE RISK OF FLOODING WITH RESPECT TO NORMAL.

$$







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