Flood Potential Outlook
Issued by NWS Binghamton, NY

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Winter/Spring Flood Potential Outlook
National Weather Service Binghamton NY
221 PM EST Thu Jan 5 2017

...WINTER/SPRING FLOOD POTENTIAL OUTLOOK NUMBER 1...

THIS IS THE FIRST IN A SERIES OF REGULARLY SCHEDULED HYDROLOGIC
OUTLOOKS ISSUED DURING THE WINTER AND SPRING FLOOD SEASON. THIS
OUTLOOK IS DESIGNED TO PROVIDE A GENERALIZED ASSESSMENT OF THE
FLOOD POTENTIAL ACROSS CENTRAL NEW YORK AND NORTHEAST PENNSYLVANIA
FOR THE NEXT TWO WEEKS...JANUARY 5TH TO JANUARY 19TH.

...SUMMARY...
FLOOD RISK IS BELOW AVERAGE FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR.

...CURRENT CONDITIONS...

.PRECIPITATION...ABOUT AVERAGE. SINCE MID DECEMBER...LIQUID EQUIVALENT
PRECIPITATION HAS BEEN GENERALLY WITHIN ABOUT AN INCH OF NORMAL. IT
HAS BEEN SLIGHTLY ON THE DRY SIDE ACROSS NORTHEAST PENNSYLVANIA AND
ON THE WET SIDE IN THE SNOW BELT REGION OF THE TUG HILL EAST OF LAKE
ONTARIO.

.SNOW COVER AND WATER EQUIVALENT...BELOW AVERAGE. SNOW DEPTHS WERE
CONFINED MAINLY TO THE HIGHER ELEVATIONS OF THE REGION WHERE UP TO
6 INCHES COULD BE FOUND IN THE TULLY-HEIBERGS AND THE WESTERN CATSKILLS.
SNOW DEPTHS IN EXCESS OF A FOOT WERE LOCATED OVER NORTHERN ONEIDA
COUNTY. WATER EQUIVALENT IN THE SNOWPACK WAS NEARLY NIL FOR MOST
AREAS... BUT GENERALLY 2 INCHES OR LESS IN SNOW COVERED AREAS. UP
TO 6 INCHES WAS LIKELY IN THE EASTERN LAKE ONTARIO SNOW BELT.

.RIVER ICE COVER...BELOW AVERAGE. AS OF JANUARY 5TH...MOST RIVERS WERE
MORE THAN 90 PERCENT CLEAR OF ICE. SOME BORDER ICE AND FRAZIL MAY FORM
DURING PERIODIC COLD SNAPS OVER THE NEXT TWO WEEKS...BUT A WELL
ESTABLISHED ICE COVER SEEMS UNLIKELY.

.STREAMFLOW AND SOIL CONDITIONS...STREAMFLOW AT USGS MONITORING GAUGES
WAS NEAR, TO SLIGHTLY ABOVE NORMAL. SOIL CONDITIONS WERE OF AVERAGE,
TO BELOW AVERAGE MOISTURE ACROSS THE AREA. TOPSOIL TEMPERATURES WERE
STILL A FEW DEGREES ABOVE FREEZING AT MANY LOCATIONS WITH NO SOLID
ESTABLISHMENT OF A FROST LAYER.

.RESERVOIR AND LAKE LEVELS...VARIABLE. THE FINGER LAKES APPEARED TO
HAVE NORMAL POOLS, WHILE THE NYC DELAWARE RESERVOIR SYSTEM AND LAKE
WALLENPAUPACK WERE BELOW NORMAL TO DATE.

...FORECAST OUTLOOK...

.FUTURE WEATHER CONDITIONS - THE 6 TO 14 DAY OUTLOOK CALLS FOR WARMER
THAN NORMAL AND GENERALLY WETTER THAN AVERAGE CONDITIONS. A SERIES
OF FAST MOVING LOW PRESSURE SYSTEMS WILL PASS THROUGH THE REGION
DURING THE NEXT TWO WEEKS PROVIDING PERIODS OF LIGHT TO MODERATE
PRECIPITATION. PRECIPITATION TYPE LOOKS TO RANGE BETWEEN SNOW, A
WINTRY MIX AND RAIN AT TIMES...THUS THE CHANCE TO ESTABLISH A
TYPICAL SNOW COVER LOOKS POOR.

.LONG RANGE RIVER MODELING AND PROBABILITY FORECASTS - RIVER
FORECAST MODEL BLENDS INDICATE A SLIGHT FLOOD RISK DURING A COUPLE
OF MILD RAIN/SNOW MELT EVENTS FORECAST TO PASS THROUGH THE JANUARY
11-12 AND JANUARY 15-16 TIME PERIOD. CLIMATOLOGICAL ANALYSIS OF
FLOODING USING CURRENT HYDROLOGIC CONDITIONS SUGGESTS THE CHANCE
OF RIVER FLOODING DURING THIS PERIOD IS MUCH BELOW NORMAL. THIS
STRONGLY SUGGESTS THAT IT WOULD TAKE A WIDESPREAD, AND HEAVY,
RAIN EVENT TO GENERATE SIGNIFICANT FLOODING IN THE CENTRAL NEW
YORK AND NORTHEAST PENNSYLVANIA BASINS.

...IN CONCLUSION...
THE OUTLOOK ESTIMATES THE POTENTIAL FOR RIVER AND LAKE FLOODING
BASED ON A CURRENT ASSESSMENT OF GENERALIZED HYDRO-METEOROLOGICAL
FACTORS WHICH CONTRIBUTE TO FLOODING.

IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT SIGNIFICANT 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. SPECIFIC FORECASTS OF HEAVY RAINFALL AND
FLASH FLOODING ARE NOT INCLUDED IN THIS OUTLOOK.

THE NEXT WINTER/SPRING FLOOD OUTLOOK WILL BE ISSUED BY THIS
OFFICE IN TWO WEEKS, ON JANUARY 19, 2017. IF CONDITIONS CHANGE IN
THE INTERIM...FLOOD WATCHES...WARNINGS OR ADVISORIES WILL BE
ISSUED AS NECESSARY.

$$

JAB



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