Flood Potential Outlook
Issued by NWS Cleveland, OH

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Winter/Spring Flood Potential Outlook
National Weather Service CLEVELAND OH
328 PM EST Thu Jan 18 2018

WINTER/SPRING FLOOD POTENTIAL OUTLOOK THROUGH FEBRUARY 1...

This is the second winter flood potential outlook of the winter
season. Flood outlooks are issued every two weeks in the winter
and spring to highlight any risks for significant flooding. The
outlooks are based on the basin and forecast 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.

...CURRENT CONDITIONS SUMMARY...
The threat for flooding due to snowmelt and ice jams is near
normal. The exception for this is along the French Creek in
Crawford County Pennsylvania where a persistent ice jam is
elevating the risk of moderate flooding. A dramatic warm up on
January 11th and 12th resulted in a complete removal of the area
snowpack. The snowmelt in combination with rainfall resulted in
river and creeks rises with minor flooding. The river rises
resulted in a break up of ice cover and ice jam flooding. The ice
was flushed out of the rivers with the exception of the French
Creek where a four mile ice jam was located near Meadville.

Following the warm up on the 12th a storm system brought freezing rain
a widespread 3 to 6 inches of snowfall to the area. This was
followed by below normal temperatures which prevented any melting
and allowed river levels to recede. The snowpack across most of
central and northern Ohio was under a half a foot with highest
amounts in the Nimishillen and Mahoning River Basins. In northwest
Pennsylvania the snowpack was under a foot deep. The stored water
in the snowpack was around a half an inch to three quarters of an
inch. Ice cover on area rivers was limited, with most reporting
thicknesses under four inches.

The following is a summary of the conditions by basin with
measurable snowpack as of Thursday morning, January 18th:

...FRENCH CREEK / LAKE ERIE BASIN...
.SNOW COVER..........3 to 7 inches on average, upwards of 12 inches
.WATER EQUIVALENT....0.3  to 0.75 inches
.CREEK FLOWS.........HIGH. Streamflow restricted by ice resulting in backwater
.CREEK ICE...........4 mile jam south of Meadville
.GROUND STATE........Completely frozen

...MAHONING RIVER / NIMISHILLEN CREEK / OHIO RIVER BASIN...
.SNOW COVER..........3 to 7 inches
.WATER EQUIVALENT....0.3 to 0.6 inches
.RIVER FLOWS.........Normal
.RIVER ICE...........Partially frozen
.GROUND STATE........Completely frozen.

...GRAND RIVER / CHAGRIN RIVER / LAKE ERIE BASIN...
.SNOW COVER..........4 to 7 inches
.WATER EQUIVALENT....0.5 to 0.75 inches
.RIVER FLOWS.........Normal
.RIVER ICE...........Partially frozen
.GROUND STATE........Completely frozen.


...SANDUSKY / VERMILION / BLACK / HURON RIVERS/ LAKE ERIE
BASIN...
.SNOW COVER..........2 to 4 inches
.WATER EQUIVALENT....0.2 to 0.3 inches
.RIVER FLOWS.........Normal
.RIVER ICE...........Partially frozen
.GROUND STATE........Completely frozen


...TEMPERATURE AND PRECIPITATION OUTLOOK...
The weather pattern across the region will transition as a ridge
builds  over the eastern U.S. This will favor mild and above
normal temperatures for most of forecast and into the next 10
days. A storm system will move through the area Monday bringing
rain. Heavy rain is not expected at this time. Temperatures will
be around fifty with a complete snowmelt expected. Precipitation
forecasts for the next two weeks is above normal.

...FLOOD POTENTIAL OUTLOOK...
Based on current conditions and forecasts for the next two week
the  risk of flooding is near normal. The exception to this is
the French Creek in Pennsylvania where an existing ice jam and
forecasted river rises support a heightened risk of flooding. The
snowpack across the region is near normal except in the snowbelt
where it is below normal. The forecasted warm up early next week
is projected to melt off the snowpack and lead to minor flooding.
Ice along area rivers is limited so the risk of ice jams is near
normal. It is important to remember that a heavy rainfall event
along with mild temperatures can lead to an increased potential
for flooding with snowmelt and runoff. Ice breaking up and jamming
can elevate the threat for flooding in a short period of time.

...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.on the basin and forecast
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.

$$



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