Flood Potential Outlook
Issued by NWS Cleveland, OH

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WINTER/SPRING FLOOD POTENTIAL OUTLOOK
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CLEVELAND OH
1049 AM EDT THU MAR 17 2016

...WINTER/SPRING FLOOD OUTLOOK NUMBER 6...

...THE FLOOD THREAT IS EXPECTED TO BE NEAR NORMAL ACROSS
NORTHWEST PENNSYLVANIA AND NORTHERN OHIO THROUGH THE END OF MARCH...

A NORMAL FLOOD POTENTIAL MEANS OCCASIONAL FLOODING COULD OCCUR
WITH WATER LEVELS HAVING MINOR IMPACTS. THIS IS THE SIXTH ISSUANCE
OF THE WINTER AND SPRING FLOOD OUTLOOKS 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 RISK FOR FLOODING ACROSS THE AREA IS NEAR NORMAL. THE REGION
HAS BEGUN TO SEE THE TRANSITION FROM WINTER TO SPRING OVER THE
LAST FEW WEEKS WITH WARMING SOIL TEMPERATURES AND THE START OF
VEGETATION GROWTH. AREA RIVERS AND CREEKS ARE RUNNING NEAR NORMAL
AS ARE GROUND WATER LEVELS. RESERVOIRS ARE AT STANDARD WINTER POOL
LEVELS WITH SUFFICIENT FLOOD CONTROL SPACE AVAILABLE. THE WARMER
TEMPERATURES HAVE ELIMINATED ANY SNOWPACK AND LAKE/RIVER ICE. THE
FORECAST CALLS FOR SNOW HOWEVER THE WARM GROUND TEMPERATURES WILL
NOT FAVOR ANY SIGNIFICANT SNOWPACK. ALL OF THESE FACTORS COMBINED
WILL MAINTAIN A NORMAL RISK FOR SPRING FLOODING ACROSS THE REGION.

...PRECIPITATION AND TEMPERATURE FORECASTS...
TEMPERATURES ARE EXPECTED TO BE BELOW NORMAL INTO THIS WEEKEND
THEN RETURN TO ABOVE NORMAL BY NEXT WEEK. WEAK WEATHER SYSTEMS
COULD PRODUCE LIGHT AMOUNTS OF SNOW. WITH TEMPERATURES COOLING
THERE IS A CHANCE FOR LAKE EFFECT SNOW. ANY SNOWFALL AMOUNTS ARE
EXPECTED TO PRODUCE VERY LITTLE STORED WATER ACROSS THE REGION AND
WILL LIKELY MELT OVER A MATTER OF DAYS. THERE IS THE POTENTIAL FOR
MODERATE TO HEAVY RAIN LATE NEXT WEEK WHICH WILL NEED TO BE
MONITORED FOR TIMING AND AMOUNTS.

...SNOW COVER...
NONE AT THIS TIME.

...ICE COVERAGE...
NONE AT THIS TIME.

...CURRENT RIVER AND RESERVOIR LEVELS...
STREAMFLOWS ACROSS THE REGION ARE RUNNING HIGH AFTER A RECENT
RAIN EVENT. MOST AREA ARE SEEING STREAMFLOWS IN THE 50-75
PERCENTILE. OVER THE WEEKEND THE RIVERS WILL CONTINUE TO RECEDE AS
COOLER AIR SETTLES OVER THE AREA.

RESERVOIRS ARE NEAR NORMAL FOR WINTER LEVELS WITH THE MAHONING
AND BEAVER DAMS REPORTING WINTER FLOOD CAPACITY LEVELS 10-30% FULL.
A FEW DAMS IN THE FRENCH CREEK AND THE MOHICAN BASIN ARE REPORTING
AS HIGH AS 10% BUT ARE PROJECTED TO GRADUALLY RELEASE THROUGH THE
NEXT WEEK.

...SOIL TEMPERATURE AND MOISTURE...
THERE HAS BEEN A WIDESPREAD WARMING OF THE TOPSOILS OVER THE LAST
FEW WEEKS WITH MOST STATIONS REPORTING TEMPERATURES AROUND 40F OR
WARMER IN THE TOP 5 CM. THE BRIEF COOL DOWN OVER THE NEXT SEVERAL
DAYS WILL ALLOW TOPSOIL TEMPERATURES TO DROP A DEGREE OR TWO. THE
TEMPERATURES ARE SUFFICIENTLY WARM TO SUPPORT ONGOING VEGETATION
GROWTH INCLUDING GRASS AND TREES. TOPSOILS ARE MUDDY WITH EXCESS
MOISTURE BUT THE TREND OVER THE NEXT FEW DAYS WILL BE TO DRY.

...LONG TERM OUTLOOKS...
THE MAJORITY OF STORM SYSTEMS WITH HEAVY RAIN HAVE REMAINED SOUTH
OF THE REGION ALONG THE SOUTHERN STREAM JET. THE EL NINO IN THE
PACIFIC IS HAVING A STRONG INFLUENCE ON THIS WEATHER FEATURE. LATE
NEXT WEEK THE FORECAST MODELS HINT AT SOME PHASING BETWEEN THE
NORTHERN AND SOUTHERN JET STREAMS WHICH COULD SUPPORT SOME HEAVY
RAIN. FOR THE REST OF THE SPRING THE PATTER WILL FAVOR A DRIER
THAN NORMAL PATTERN. TEMPERATURES WILL CONTINUE TO BE AT OR ABOVE
NORMAL GOING INTO APRIL. THE IMPACTS OF THE EL NINO ON THE WEATHER
ACROSS THE UNITED STATES ARE EXPECTED TO BE ONGOING THROUGH
SPRING.

...FLOOD POTENTIAL SUMMARY AND OUTLOOK...
THE FLOOD POTENTIAL OVER THE NEXT TWO WEEKS WILL BE NEAR NORMAL.
THERE IS THE POTENTIAL FOR HEAVY RAIN LATE NEXT WEEK WHICH COULD
PRODUCE A PERIOD OF HEIGHTENED FLOOD RISK...THOUGH DETAILS ON
THIS FEATURE ARE TOO VARIABLE TO EXPLICITLY PREDICT AT THIS TIME.
THE NEXT WINTER/SPRING FLOOD OUTLOOK WILL BE ISSUED ON MARCH 30TH.



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