Flood Potential Outlook
Issued by NWS Cleveland, OH
FGUS71 KCLE 161845
Winter/Spring Flood Potential Outlook
National Weather Service CLEVELAND OH
245 PM EDT Thu Mar 16 2017
...NORMAL FLOOD RISK FOR THE LAKE ERIE AND OHIO RIVER BASINS
THROUGH APRIL 1ST...
This is the sixth flood potential outlook of the 2017 season.
Flood outlooks will be issued every two weeks into early spring
to summarize basin conditions and to assess the potential for
flooding. The outlooks are based on current and forecast
hydrometeorological 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...
After a record warm February, the first two weeks of March have
consisted of a temperature roller coaster. Temperatures have
warmed to the 60s only to be replaced by temperatures in the 20s a
few days later. The overall cooler than normal pattern has also
favored the redevelopment of lake effect snow. At the time of this
issuance a snowpack had developed across the region, primarily in
the snowbelt. However the water equivalent of the snow is
limited, and when combined with below normal streamflows across
the region it is unlikely to produce flooding. Soil moisture
conditions are at to slightly above normal.
The forecast models for the next few weeks favors a relatively
active pattern, but with relatively weak systems with limited
amounts of moisture. The rest of the spring season is projected
to have temperatures at or above normal with near normal
precipitation. Overall, the accumulation of ground conditions and
forecast outlooks favors a normal flood risk through early
In the Snowbelt (NE OH/NW PA)
Lake effect snowfall had produced up to a foot and a half of snow
depth over northeast Ohio at the time of this issuance. Elsewhere
in the snowbelt snow depths ranged from 6 to 12 inches. Overall
the standing snow water equivalent at the time of this issuance
ranged from a 0.5 to 0.8 inches. The snowpack is likely to melt
off by early next week.
Elsewhere Across the Region
Snow depths outside of the snowbelt remain around two inches or
Less with a water equivalent less than 0.10. The snowpack is
expected to melt over the weekend.
Soil temperatures (2 and 4 below top soil) remained below freezing
in the snowbelt. Soil temperatures remained above freezing at the
2 and 4 depths outside of the snowbelt. The removal of
snowpack this upcoming weekend combined with higher sun angles
will support a warming of the ground cover over the next two
weeks. Soil moisture is saturated and unlikely to absorb any
runoff should a rain event occur over the next two weeks. River
and lake ice remain at a minimum.
Rainfall over the last 30 days has been around 50% of normal for
the Maumee, Sandusky, Portage, and Huron River basins. Streamflows
in this basins have receded with most reporting around the 25th
to 50th percentile. The river basins east to the Vermilion, Black,
Scioto, Nimishillen, Mahoning, Grand, Chagrin, Cuyahoga, and
French Creek have all seen 100 to 150 percent of normal rainfall
in the last 30 days resulting in streamflows at or slightly above
normal. Reservoirs have been gradually releasing flows to remain
near normal winter pool levels. There remains a high percentage of
flood storage available.
...TEMPERATURE AND PRECIPITATION OUTLOOK...
The one to two week forecasts favor an active weather pattern with
on and off again rain and snow chances. None of the storm systems
are projected to produce flooding conditions as they move rapidly
east. The snowpack will gradually erode with brief warm ups and
rain events. The outlook for April and May are for above normal
temperatures and near normal precipitation.
...FLOOD POTENTIAL OUTLOOK...
Flood risk during the next two weeks is near normal for region.
The winter has produced above normal precipitation which has
saturated the ground. However the projected gradual loss of
snowpack in the snowbelt will reduce the risk for significant
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.