Flood Potential Outlook
Issued by NWS Cleveland, OH

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WINTER/SPRING FLOOD POTENTIAL OUTLOOK
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CLEVELAND OH
1055 AM EST FRI JAN 23 2015

...WINTER/SPRING FLOOD OUTLOOK NUMBER 2...

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

A NORMAL FLOOD POTENTIAL MEANS OCCASIONAL FLOODING COULD OCCUR WITH
WATER LEVELS HAVING MINOR IMPACTS. THIS IS THE SECOND 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...
THE PREDICTIVE WEATHER PATTERN OVER THE NEXT TWO WEEKS WILL BE
MORE ACTIVE THAN NORMAL WITH PERIODS OF LAKE EFFECT AND SYNOPTIC
SNOW. WITH NO NOTABLE WARM UPS AND THAWS EXPECTED...IT IS UNLIKELY
THAT THE RIVERS WILL EXCEED THEIR BANKS. THE ONLY EXCEPTION COULD
BE CAUSED BY THE DEVELOPMENT OF ICE JAMS WHICH CAN CAUSE FLOODING
IN ISOLATED SITUATIONS. RIVER OBSERVERS SHOULD REPORT SIGNIFICANT
ICE JAMS TO THE LOCAL AUTHORITIES WHO WILL INFORM THE NATIONAL
WEATHER SERVICE.

THE OFFICIAL NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE 6 TO 10 DAY FORECAST AND 8 TO
14 DAY FORECAST CALLS FOR BELOW NORMAL TEMPERATURES AND NORMAL
PRECIPITATION.


...CURRENT RIVER AND RESERVOIR LEVELS...
ALL BASINS ACROSS THE REGION ARE RUNNING AT NORMAL STREAM FLOWS.
THE MAJORITY OF THE LOCAL RESERVOIRS ARE RUNNING AT THE IDEAL
WINTER POOL LEVELS.

...SNOW COVER...
AT THE TIME OF THIS ISSUANCE THE SNOW PACK WAS AVERAGING A NORMAL
SNOWPACK WITH 1-3 INCHES OF WATER EQUIVALENT SNOW. OUTSIDE OF THE
SNOWBELT THE SNOW DEPTHS ARE AVERAGING UNDER 3 INCHES. ALONG THE
SNOWBELT THE DEPTHS ARE BETWEEN 3 AND 8 INCHES...WITH HIGHER
AMOUNTS IN THE HIGHER TERRAIN.

...ICE COVERAGE...
LAKE ERIE IS 83 PERCENT ICE COVERED WITH ICE DEPTHS AROUND
6 TO 12 INCHES. ICE WILL CONTINUE TO GROW OVER THE NEXT TWO WEEKS
AS ANOTHER ARCTIC BLAST IS EXPECTED WITH TEMPERATURES IN THE TEENS.
THE ICE COVERAGE IS RUNNING ABOVE NORMAL FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR
ACCORDING TO THE GREAT LAKES ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH LAB ICE
FORECAST MODEL.

RIVER WATER TEMPERATURES HAVE DROPPED INTO THE MID 30S AND SIGNIFICANT
ICE FORMATION HAS BEEN OBSERVED. OUTLOOK IS FOR ADDITIONAL ICE
GROWTH OVER THE NEXT WEEK.

...SOIL MOISTURE...
TOP SOILS REMAIN FROZEN AND SNOW COVERED. WITH THE GROUND FROZEN AND THE
SNOWPACK GROWING THE POTENTIAL FOR RAPID RUNOFF AND FLOODING WILL
REMAIN A THREAT IN ANY FUTURE RAIN OR SNOW MELT EVENTS.

...PRECIPITATION AND TEMPERATURE FORECASTS...
TEMPERATURES ARE EXPECTED TO REMAIN BELOW NORMAL OVER THE SHORT
TERM...ABOUT 10 DEGREES BELOW NORMAL. THE LONG TERM MODELS
SUGGEST A CONTINUATION OF BELOW NORMAL TEMPERATURES AND
PRECIPITATION FOR WINTER. SPRING OUTLOOKS SUGGEST NORMAL
TEMPERATURES AND NEAR NORMAL RAINFALL.

...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 TO ABOVE
NORMAL.

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 LONG
TERM TEMPERATURE OUTLOOKS SUGGEST TEMPERATURES AT OR ABOVE NORMAL
THROUGH SPRING. THE PRECIPITATION OUTLOOKS SHOW MORE NEUTRAL
CONDITIONS EXCEPT FOR EARLY WINTER.

...FLOOD POTENTIAL SUMMARY AND OUTLOOK...
IN SUMMARY...THE ANTECEDENT CONDITIONS WITH FROZEN GROUND COVER AND
THE NORMAL SNOW PACK COMBINE TO PRODUCE A NORMAL CHANCE FOR
FLOODING THIS WINTER. BY THE TIME THE SPRING THAW ARRIVES
CONDITIONS COULD FAVOR A HEIGHTENED FLOOD RISK. CLIMATOLOGY FAVORS
MARCH AND APRIL AS THE MOST FREQUENT PERIOD FOR FLOODS.

THE NEXT WINTER/SPRING FLOOD OUTLOOK WILL BE ISSUED ON FEBRUARY 6TH.


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