Flood Potential Outlook
Issued by NWS Albany, NY
FGUS71 KALY 191732
WINTER/SPRING FLOOD POTENTIAL OUTLOOK
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ALBANY NY
1232 PM EST THU FEB 19 2015
...Winter Spring Flood Potential Outlook 4 for Eastern New York
and Western New England...
This is the fourth of a series of Hydrologic Outlooks issued
by the National Weather Service every two weeks...which refers to
the potential for flooding across eastern New York State...southern
Vermont...Berkshire County Massachusetts...and Litchfield County
Connecticut. The major river basins in this area are the
Hudson...the Mohawk...and the Housatonic.
This outlook is valid for the two week period from February 19 to
The potential for snowmelt flooding for the winter and spring of
2015 is generally near normal...since snowpack is now near to above
normal. The potential for ice jam flooding is near normal for the
next two weeks.
...Observed Snow Depths and Water Equivalents...
Snow depths between a foot and two feet were the norm across
elevated terrain...including the Catskills...the Berkshires...and
the Litchfield Hills. These locations are carrying between one and
five inches of liquid equivalent.
Elsewhere...snow totals are even more impressive over the
Adirondacks...where between a foot and a half and three feet of snow
has been measured...containing 2 to 7 inches of snow water
equivalent. The southern Green Mountains are also carrying a healthy
snow pack of two to just over three feet of snow...with several
liquid measurements exceeding 8 inches.
These totals represent a significant increase from snow totals at
the beginning of January...bringing us into normal to above normal
ranges for this time of year.
...River Flows and Ice Conditions...
Flows in area rivers are below normal and declining slowly with
minimal runoff due to below normal temperatures. Most rivers and
streams are ice affected.
River ice cover and thickness is above normal and with very
cold temperatures remaining in place for the outlook period...river
ice will continue to thicken.
...Soil Moisture Conditions and Water Supply...
Soil moisture remains near normal in the outlook area with the
ground frozen. Precipitation totals since the beginning of February
are within an inch of normal.
New York City water supply reservoirs are at about 77 percent of
capacity as of February 18th. This is about 10 percent below normal
for this time of year. Hudson River-Black River Regulating District
reservoirs range from about 2 feet above target at Great Sacandaga
Lake to nearly 4 and a half feet below target at Stillwater
...Temperature and Precipitation Outlook...
The forecast for the next week calls for below normal temperatures
and near normal precipitation...in the form of snow or mixed
The official National Weather Service 8-14 day outlook for February
26th through March 4th calls for well below normal temperatures and
near to slightly above normal precipitation.
While the potential for snowmelt flooding is near normal for this
time of year...the overall weather pattern favors colder than normal
temperatures for at least the next two weeks. Thus it is unlikely
that we will have enough runoff to cause any significant rises on
area rivers and streams within the two week outlook period.
Ice coverage is near 100 percent but with ongoing cold temperatures
no immediate threat for ice jams exists. However...river ice
continues to build and is setting the stage for potential ice jam
issues later in the season. Any rapid runoff events and dramatic
increases in flow would have the potential to produce ice jam
problems...but most likely not in the two week outlook period.
The fifth Winter Spring Flood Outlook is scheduled for Thursday...
March 5th. Extended hydrologic information will be included
in the Hazardous Weather Outlook when necessary.
It is important to remember that heavy rainfall can produce flooding
at any time of year even in areas that have a below normal potential
Observed and forecast river information can be found on our web
page at www.weather.gov/albany.