Flood Potential Outlook
Issued by NWS Cleveland, OH

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Winter/Spring Flood Potential Outlook
National Weather Service CLEVELAND OH
1106 PM EST Thu Mar 2 2017

...NEAR NORMAL FLOOD RISK FOR THE LAKE ERIE AND OHIO RIVER BASINS
THROUGH MARCH 16TH...

This is the fifth 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...
After a warm February, near normal temperatures returned to northern
Ohio and northwest Pennsylvania for the beginning of March. Several
record high temperatures were set during the last week of February
with all time record highs for the month of February and the
winter season set on the 24th. A recent return to near normal
temperatures lead to the return of scattered lake effect snows,
however this is projected to end with another round of above
normal temperatures starting Sunday. With the passing of the
climatological coldest time of the year it is unlikely that the
ground will refreeze before spring. These conditions along with
near to above normal precipitation over the next two weeks will
lead to a near normal risk of flooding for the next two weeks.

SNOWPACK
In the Snowbelt (NE OH/NW PA)
Snow depths ranged from 1 to 3 inches in extreme northeast Ohio
and northwest Pennsylvania from snow showers over the last 24
hours. Overall the standing snow water equivalent at the time of
this issuance was only 0.1 to 0.3 inches across this area.

Elsewhere Across the Region Snow depths outside of the
snowbelt were only a trace to one inch with a water equivalent
less than a 0.10.

GROUND CONDITIONS
Soil temperatures (2 below top soil) were around freezing,
however 4 depth soil temperatures were above freezing. The
removal of any remaining snowpack this weekend combined with
higher sun angles will support a warming of the ground cover over
the next two weeks. Soil moisture is saturated and unlikely to
absorb much if any runoff should a rain event occur over the next
two weeks. There was no lake ice remaining and also no reports of
river ice.

Streamflows are elevated with most reporting around the 50th
percentile. Reservoirs, which had risen over the last month, have
been gradually releasing flows to return to near normal winter
pool levels. There remains a high percentage of flood storage
available.

...TEMPERATURE AND PRECIPITATION OUTLOOK...
The rainfall over the last 30 days (Feb1-Mar2) has been 150-200%
of normal for northern parts of the region and 100-150% across
southern areas with temperatures 5-10 F above normal. The 7 day
forecast calls for below normal temperatures into the weekend
trending toward above normal for next week. Precipitation will
average near normal. Snow showers will be ending on Friday then
the next chance of rain showers is expected early next week.
Outlooks through March favor above normal temperatures and near
normal precipitation.

...FLOOD POTENTIAL OUTLOOK...
Flood risk during the next two weeks is near normal for the region.
The pattern favors a melting of any remaining snowpack by early
next week, but this should have little effect on streams and
creeks in the snowbelt and is not sufficient to produce flooding.
Elsewhere, current river levels are near normal and will continue
to gradually subside over the next week. Ahead of the next
weather system there wont be a snowpack or frozen soil, however
ground conditions will be saturated. Conditions overall favor a
near normal chance for flooding through the middle of March.

...ADDITIONAL INFORMATION...
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.


$$
Mitchell



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