Flood Potential Outlook
Issued by NWS Cleveland, OH

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WINTER/SPRING FLOOD POTENTIAL OUTLOOK
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CLEVELAND OH
253 PM EST FRI FEB 14 2014

...WINTER/SPRING FLOOD OUTLOOK NUMBER 3 UPDATED...

...THERE IS AN ABOVE NORMAL RISK OF FLOODING ACROSS NORTHWEST
PENNSYLVANIA AND NORTHERN OHIO THROUGH FEBRUARY...

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

THIS IS A FOLLOW UP TO THE THIRD 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...
ABOVE NORMAL CONDITIONS ON THE REGIONS SNOWPACK...FROST
DEPTH...AND RIVER ICE COMBINED WITH A FORECAST FOR WARMER THAN
NORMAL TEMPERATURES THROUGH LATE FEBRUARY HAVE HEIGHTEN THE FLOOD
RISK FOR THE REGION. ANY RAINFALL EVENT THAT OCCURS DURING THIS
TIME WILL CAUSE RIVERS TO RESPOND RAPIDLY. THIS WOULD LIKELY BREAK
UP ICE ON FROZEN RIVERS WHICH COULD RESULT IN ICE JAMS.

...CURRENT RIVER AND RESERVOIR LEVELS...
MOST RESERVOIR LEVELS IN THE REGION ARE AT THE NORMAL TO SLIGHTLY
BELOW 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 AND BLANCHARD RIVER BASINS
WHERE SNOW DEPTHS OF OVER A FOOT WERE REPORTED. FROM THE SANDUSKY
RIVER BASIN EAST TO THE CUYAHOGA RIVER THE SNOW DEPTH WAS
AVERAGING 9 INCHES. AWAY FROM THE SNOWBELT REGION IN THE
MAHONING...MUSKINGUM...AND MOHICAN RIVER VALLEYS THE SNOW DEPTH
IS CLOSER TO 5 INCHES. IN NORTHWEST PENNSYLVANIA THE SNOW DEPTHS
ARE BETWEEN 5 AND 10 INCHES ON AVERAGE. THE SNOW WATER EQUIVALENT
IS HIGHEST IN THE BLANCHARD RIVER BASIN AT 2.8 INCHES...AND LOWEST IN
THE MOHICAN RIVER VALLEY WITH 1.0 INCHES.


...ICE COVERAGE...
EXTENSIVE ICE COVERAGE WAS OBSERVED ACROSS ALL AREA RIVERS. THE
SEVERE COLD SNAPS IN JANUARY AND FEBRUARY ALLOWED ICE TO GROW AT
A RAPID RATE THICKENING 12 INCHES OR MORE. THIS THICKNESS IS
SUFFICIENT FOR SIGNIFICANT ICE JAMS WHICH CAN TEAR UP RIVERSIDE
PROPERTY AND TREES AND CAUSE RAPID RIVER RISES AND FALLS.

THE GENERALLY LOW STREAMFLOWS NOTED ACROSS THE REGION HAVE
PRODUCED THICKER THAN NORMAL ICE COVER ON THE BOTTOM OF THESE SLOW
MOVING...OR BACKWATER...PORTIONS OF THE STREAMS. THIS LARGER
AMOUNT OF OVERALL ICE IN THE RIVER CHANNELS WILL SLOW THEIR
PROGRESSION TO NORMAL OPEN CHANNEL FLOW. HOWEVER THE BELOW NORMAL
STREAMFLOWS WOULD INDICATE 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 ANY ICE FLOES
COULD BUILD UP ALONG THE MOUTHS OF THE RIVERS.

...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...
AFTER THIS WEEKEND TEMPERATURES ARE PROJECTED TO BEGIN WARMING TO
AND ABOVE NORMAL. BY LATE FEBRUARY 8-14 DAY FORECASTS PROJECT
ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES OVER THE OHIO VALLEY. PRECIPITATION IS
ALSO PROJECTED TO BE ABOVE NORMAL DURING THIS TIME.

...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 ABOVE 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 FEBRUARY 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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