Flood Potential Outlook
Issued by NWS Knoxville/Tri Cities, TN

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Hydrologic Outlook
National Weather Service Morristown TN
600 PM EST Sat Mar 4 2017 /500 PM CST Sat Mar 4 2017/

...The 2017 Spring Flood Potential Outlook for East Tennessee...
Southwest Virginia...and Extreme Southwest North Carolina...

Introduction...

This is the 2017 Spring Flood Potential Outlook issued by the
National Weather Service in Morristown, Tennessee for east Tennessee,
southwest Virginia, and extreme southwestern North Carolina. This
issuance outlines current river and soil moisture conditions and
highlights potential situations that would induce flooding or
exacerbate drought.

In summary, the 2017 Spring Flood Potential is Below Average.

The following sections describe past and current conditions and
future expectations.


Snow pack...

Very little snow pack is noted across the highest peaks.


Precipitation...

Over the past 30 days, precipitation has generally ranged from 65 to
85 percent of normal across the area, with the exception of the
northern Tennessee Valley where rainfall has been near normal.

Over the past 60 days, precipitation again ranged generally from 65
to 85 percent of normal across the area, with the exception of the
area east of I-81 and north of I-40, where near normal amounts of
rainfall occurred, ranging from 90 to 120 percent of normal.

Beyond 60 days, December precipitation was above normal across the
majority of the area, which helped bring improvements to the drought.


Temperatures...

Although fairly wet, December temperatures only ran 1 degree above
normal. January was quite warm, running 7 to 8 degrees above normal.
February continued the warmth, also running 7 to 8 degrees above
normal.


Drought...

Drought conditions linger over the area. D2 Severe Drought conditions
include the central and southern mountains...and westward from there
to the Tennessee River. D3 Extreme Drought conditions now extend from
Chattanooga eastward to southwestern North Carolina.


Soil Moisture...

Soil moisture conditions are below normal across the area, but
driest over the D3 drought area mentioned above, where soil moisture
is in the bottom tenth percentile of recorded observations for the
date.


Streamflows...

A couple of streams are a little elevated thanks to midweek rainfall.
Otherwise, streamflows are mostly near normal, except for rivers
flowing out of western North Carolina, where rainfall has been the
most scarce, and the D3 drought conditions have returned. Those streams
are well below normal.

Streamflows as a percent of daily normal are given for river points
in, or immediately upstream from, our hydrologic service area:

River...                        Location...    3/1/17
N Fork Holston River           Saltville VA     111%
Clinch River                   Cleveland VA      84%
Clinch River                    Tazewell TN      88%
Powell River                      Arthur TN     100%
Emory River                      Oakdale TN     175%
Pigeon River                       Hepco NC      40%
French Broad River             Asheville NC      33%


Tennessee River Basin Reservoir Levels...

The percent of available flood control storage for reservoirs in
the Tennessee Basin above Chattanooga is 96 percent.


Meteorological Outlook...

The Week Two Outlook for days 8 to 14 shows high probabilities for
warmer temperatures...and above normal precipitation.

The Climate Outlook for the month of March shows an expectation for
warmer than normal temperatures. But there are no discernible trends
for the precipitation forecast, meaning there are equal chances for
below...near...and above normal precipitation.

The longer term Climate Outlook for the 3 month period of March
through May indicates a continued expectation for above normal
temperatures, but no discernible trend for the precipitation
forecast.


The 2017 Spring Flood Outlook...

Based on all of the above considerations...paying special attention
to the dry soil conditions and continuing drought in the area, a
below average flood potential is expected for the East Tennessee...
Southwest Virginia...and extreme Southwest North Carolina basins.


Acknowledgments...

This outlook was created with input from the Lower Mississippi River
Forecast Center, the United States Geological Survey, the Tennessee
Valley Authority, state and county officials, and various cooperative
weather spotters. For more information, see the following websites:

www.weather.gov/morristown
www.srh.noaa.gov/lmrfc
waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis
www.tva.gov
www.tennessee.gov/environment
www.deq.virginia.gov
www.ncwater.org
drought.unl.edu
www.nohrsc.noaa.gov
www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov


You may also contact...

For general weather information of forecasts, call 423-586-3771.

For information related to this outlook, contact...

Glenn Carrin, Service Hydrologist, 423-586-3771
George Mathews, Meteorologist in Charge
423-586-1964 Media only, please

or write Glenn.Carrin@noaa.gov and George.Mathews@noaa.gov

$$

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