Flood Potential Outlook
Issued by NWS Boston, MA

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WINTER/SPRING FLOOD POTENTIAL OUTLOOK
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TAUNTON MA
1032 AM EST Thu Jan 4 2018

...Winter/Spring Flood Potential is near normal...

The winter/spring flood potential for southern New England is near
normal. The potential for flooding due to freeze-up ice jams is
slightly above normal in the near term. The following web site
has a map depicting the flood potential
outlook...http://www.weather.gov/nerfc/springfloodpotential

This is the first winter/spring flood potential outlook of the 2018
season. This outlook is based on current and forecast
hydrometeorological conditions. This includes snow cover and snow
water equivalent, stream and river levels and the amount of ice
coverage, recent precipitation and temperatures, and expected
temperatures and precipitation over the next two weeks.

...Recent Precipitation and Temperatures...

The past week has brought persistent subfreezing cold, with average
daily temperatures in the single digits and teens. These
temperatures were 15 to near 25 degrees below normal for this time
of year.

Liquid equivalent precipitation over the past 30 days ranged from 2
to 3 inches across the majority of southern New England. This was
mainly 1 to 2 inches below normal.

A major winter storm was affecting the area today, hence
significant snowfall accumulations are forecast and ongoing.

...Observed snow depths and water equivalents...

Snow depths are as of 7 am this morning, and do not include today`s
winter storm snowfall.

Prior to the ongoing storm, snow depth was up to several inches
across most of the region, though portions of eastern MA, southern
RI and the Cape and Islands had bare ground. Along the east slopes
of the Berkshires as well as near Mount Wachusett, snow depth ranged
from 5 to 10 inches. Snow water equivalent mainly ranged from 0.5
inch to 1 inch. The exception was in the vicinity for the east
slopes of the Berkshires and Mount Wachusett, where snow water
equivalent ranged from 1 to 3 inches. This was near normal for
this time of year.

...River and Ice Conditions...

The bitterly cold temperatures have caused significant river ice
development of many rivers and streams in the region. With the
bitter cold temperatures expected to last thru this weekend, there
is still some risk for isolated freeze-up ice jams, and river ice
is expected to continue to develop and thicken. However no ice
jams had been reported as of today.

Otherwise, area rivers and streams were at below normal to near
normal levels for this time of year.

...Soil Moisture Conditions...

The ground was frozen, with soil moisture near normal to slightly
below normal for this time of year.

...Temperature and Precipitation Outlook...

Today`s winter storm is bringing significant snowfall accumulations
to the region, and snow is expected to come to an end this evening.
Event snowfall totals are expected to range from 10 to 18 inches
across much of the region, with 5 to 8 inches across far western MA,
western Hartford County, and into a portion of Cape Cod. This
snowpack will compact some over the next few days but is expected
to largely remain in place for the next week.

Mainly dry conditions are then expected for Friday through Sunday.
Another low pressure system may bring wintry precipitation to the
region during Monday into Tuesday. High pressure brings a return to
dry conditions for the middle of next week.

Bitterly cold air will reinforce itself over our region during
tonight thru Sunday night. Temperatures moderate to near or even
above freezing for daytime highs Monday and Tuesday, then we expect
to see a return to well below normal temperatures for mid to late
next week.

The week 2 outlook for January 11 to 17 from the Climate Prediction
Center, calls for near normal temperatures and above normal
precipitation.

...Summary...

Based on information available at this time, the winter/spring flood
potential is near normal across southern New England.

A light snow pack was in place prior to today`s storm. The ongoing
winter storm is expected to bring significant accumulations to much
of the region, however the new snow pack will be within the normal
range for this time of year. Additional rain and snow is possible
early next week with another system.

With no major warmup over the next 7 days, and near normal
temperatures expected for 8 to 14 days out, significant snowmelt
is not expected. However if rain were to fall with the low
pressure system early next week, minor flooding could result due
to snow clogged drains.

Keep in mind that heavy rain can cause flooding any time of the
year. Those with interests along rivers and streams should check the
Hazardous Weather Outlook, which highlights any potential flood
events over the next 7 days. Go to http://weather.gov/boston and
click on the option Hazards, then click on Local Outlook.

$$

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