Flood Potential Outlook
Issued by NWS Little Rock, AR

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HYDROLOGIC OUTLOOK
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LITTLE ROCK AR
130 PM CST THU MAR 03 2016

...SPRING FLOOD OUTLOOK FOR MUCH OF ARKANSAS...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FORECAST OFFICE IN LITTLE ROCK HAS A
HYDROLOGIC SERVICE AREA WHICH IS WHOLLY LOCATED WITHIN THE STATE OF
ARKANSAS. IT ENCOMPASSES AN AREA WHICH INCLUDES THE WHITE RIVER FROM
BULL SHOALS DAM DOWNSTREAM...AND THE OUACHITA RIVER AND TRIBUTARIES
FROM THE HEADWATERS TO THE UPPER BOUNDARY OF THE FELSENTHAL NATIONAL
WILDLIFE REFUGE. ALONG WITH THE MAIN STEM OF THESE RIVERS...IT ALSO
INCLUDES TRIBUTARIES WITH FORECAST LOCATIONS ON THE
CACHE...BLACK...SPRING...SALINE...PETIT JEAN...FOURCHE
LAFAVE...LITTLE MISSOURI...BUFFALO...LITTLE RED...AND ELEVEN POINT
RIVERS.

EXISTING CONDITIONS...

RAINFALL - OVER THE PAST THREE MONTHS...ABOVE NORMAL PRECIPITATION
HAS OCCURRED OVER THE UPPER WHITE...BUFFALO...AND PORTIONS OF THE
ARKANSAS RIVER IN WESTERN ARKANSAS. ELSEWHERE HAS REMAINED NEAR TO
JUST BELOW NORMAL. IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT MOST OF THE PRECIPITATION
THIS WINTER FELL IN THE FORM OF RAIN AND PRIMARILY IN
DECEMBER...WITH NEAR TO JUST BELOW AVERAGE RAINFALL IN JANUARY AND
FEBRUARY.

SNOWPACK - SNOWPACK ESTIMATES FROM THE NATIONAL OPERATIONAL
HYDROLOGIC REMOTE SENSING CENTER INDICATE NO SNOWPACK IN
ARKANSAS...WHICH IS NORMAL. EVEN IN PORTIONS OF THE UPPER
MISSISSIPPI RIVER DRAINAGE BASIN WARMER TEMPERATURES HAVE KEPT AREAS
FROM MAINTAINING ANY SIGNIFICANT SNOW THIS SEASON. SNOW DEPTHS OF 1
TO 4 INCHES ARE CONFINED TO NORTH/EAST IOWA AND PORTIONS OF
MINNESOTA AND WISCONSIN. SNOW WATER EQUIVALENTS ARE GENERALLY UNDER
ONE INCH WITH LOCALLY HEAVIER AMOUNTS IN EAST IOWA AND PORTIONS OF
MINNESOTA AND WISCONSIN. WITH VERY LITTLE SNOW PACKS
UPSTREAM...RUNOFF FROM SNOWMELT IS NOT EXPECTED TO BE HYDROLOGICALLY
SIGNIFICANT DOWNSTREAM IN REGARDS TO SPRING FLOODING IN THE LOWER
MISSISSIPPI RIVER BASIN OR IN THE ARKANSAS RED RIVER BASIN.

SOIL MOISTURE - OVER THE LAST 60 DAYS SOIL CONDITIONS ARE RETURNING
CLOSER TO NORMAL. NORTHWEST AND WEST CENTRAL ARKANSAS ARE THE ONLY
AREAS STILL EXPERIENCING CONDITIONS ABOVE NORMAL FOR THIS TIME OF
YEAR. THIS INCLUDES THE HEADWATERS OF THE WHITE RIVER BASIN AND
PORTIONS OF WEST CENTRAL ARKANSAS AND CENTRAL OKLAHOMA EFFECTING THE
LOWER ARKANSAS RIVER SYSTEM.

RIVER FLOWS AND RESERVOIRS - STORAGE CAPACITY AT THE CORPS OF
ENGINEER PROJECTS IS A LITTLE LESS THAN NORMAL FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR
DUE TO EARLY WINTER RAINS. FORTUNATELY THE LACK OF SIGNIFICANT
RAINFALL OVER THE LAST 60 DAYS AND EFFECTIVE LAKE MANAGEMENT BY THE
CORPS OF ENGINEERS HAS ALLOWED STREAMFLOW DOWNSTREAM OF THESE
PROJECTS TO RETURN BACK TO NEAR NORMAL LEVELS. THE ONLY
RIVERS/STREAMS CONSIDERED IN HIGH STREAMFLOW ARE LOCATED IN THE
OUACHITA RIVER BASIN DUE TO A RECENT RAINFALL EVENT.

WHITE RIVER BASIN...

STREAMFLOW DOWNSTREAM HAS REMAINED ELEVATED FROM RAINFALL THAT
OCCURRED IN NOVEMBER  AND DECEMBER 2015. OVERALL SOIL MOISTURE IS
NEAR NORMAL AND MINOR FLOODING CONTINUES AT AUGUSTA AND CLARENDON ON
THE WHITE RIVER. OBSERVED DAILY STREAMFLOW AS A PERCENT OF A MEAN
ARE GIVEN BELOW.

                                             3/2
WHITE RIVER            BATESVILLE  AR        142%
WHITE RIVER            NEWPORT  AR           121%

BASED ON EXISTING SOIL MOISTURE...STREAMFLOWS...AND NORMAL SPRING
RAINFALL PATTERNS...AN ABOVE AVERAGE FLOOD POTENTIAL IS EXPECTED
OVER THE LOWER WHITE BASIN. THIS WILL MAINLY BE CONCENTRATED AT THE
FIRST HALF OF THE SPRING WITH ANY HEAVY RAINFALL OCCURRING OVER THE
ELEVATED STREAMFLOW.

STORAGE CAPACITY AT THE LITTLE ROCK CORPS OF ENGINEER PROJECTS IN
THE WHITE RIVER BASIN IS A LITTLE LESS THAN NORMAL FOR THIS TIME OF
YEAR DUE TO EARLY WINTER RAINS. HOWEVER...EFFECTIVE PROJECT
MANAGEMENT HAS ALLOWED LAKES TO RETURN TO NEARLY 100% OF THEIR FLOOD
STORAGE AHEAD OF SPRING RAINS. PERCENT OF AVAILABLE FLOOD CONTROL
STORAGE OVER THE LAST FEW WEEKS IS GIVEN BELOW.

                                           2/18   3/2
                      CLEARWATER RES. MO    100%   99%
                          BEAVER RES. AR     42%   88%
                      TABLE ROCK RES. MO    100%   98%
                     BULL SHOALS RES. AR     90%  100%
                         NORFORK RES. AR     95%  100%
                    GREERS FERRY RES. AR    100%  100%


ARKANSAS RIVER BASIN...

THE POTENTIAL FOR FLOOD CONDITIONS IN WESTERN ARKANSAS WILL BE NEAR
NORMAL THIS SPRING. FLOODING IN WESTERN ARKANSAS USUALLY OCCURS IN
RESPONSE TO SPECIFIC PRECIPITATION EVENTS. HOWEVER...THE ARKANSAS
RIVER MAY FLOOD IN RESPONSE TO MORE WIDESPREAD UPSTREAM CONDITIONS.
THERE ARE CURRENTLY NO INDICATIONS OF EXTREME HYDROLOGIC CONDITIONS
TO ALTER THE FLOOD POTENTIAL OF THE AREA.

CORPS OF ENGINEERS PROJECTS IN SOUTHWESTERN ARKANSAS ARE NEAR LEVELS
APPROXIMATING DESIGN CONDITIONS. THEY HAVE APPROXIMATELY 97 PERCENT
OF THEIR FLOOD CONTROL CAPACITY AVAILABLE AT THIS TIME. STREAMFLOWS
IN WESTERN ARKANSAS ARE NEAR TO ABOVE NORMAL.

OBSERVED FLOW ALONG THE MAINSTEM OF THE LOWER ARKANSAS RIVER IS
CURRENTLY NEAR 38000 CFS WHICH IS 50% OF NORMAL COMPARED TO THE LONG
TERM AVERAGE OF 76000 CFS FOR EARLY MARCH. BASED ON CURRENT SOIL
MOISTURE...STREAMFLOWS AND NORMAL SPRING RAINFALL PATTERNS...AN
AVERAGE FLOOD POTENTIAL IS EXPECTED OVER THE LOWER ARKANSAS BASIN.

OUACHITA RIVER BASIN...

STREAMFLOWS ARE BELOW NORMAL TO NEAR NORMAL IN THE OUACHITA RIVER
BASIN. SOIL MOISTURE CONTENT IS NORMAL AND NO FLOODING IS OCCURRING
OR EXPECTED AT THIS TIME. OBSERVED DAILY STREAMFLOWS AS A PERCENT OF
MEAN ARE GIVEN BELOW.

                                             3/2
OUACHITA RIVER                 CAMDEN AR     36%

BASED ON EXISTING SOIL MOISTURE...STREAMFLOWS...AND NORMAL SPRING
RAINFALL PATTERNS...AN AVERAGE FLOOD POTENTIAL IS EXPECTED OVER THE
OUACHITA RIVER BASIN. PERCENT OF AVAILABLE RESERVOIR FLOOD CONTROL
STORAGE IS GIVEN BELOW.

                                            3/2
                        LAKE OUACHITA AR    100%
                          DEGRAY RES. AR    100%

...EXTENDED TEMPERATURE AND PRECIPITATION OUTLOOK...

THE 8-14 DAY OUTLOOK ISSUED BY THE NWS CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER
INDICATES GREATER CHANCES OF AT OR ABOVE NORMAL PRECIPITATION FOR
THE MAJORITY OF ARKANSAS. HIGHER CHANCES OF ABOVE NORMAL
TEMPERATURES ARE EXPECTED AS WELL.

THE 30-DAY OUTLOOK INDICATES EQUAL CHANCES OF AT/ABOVE/BELOW NORMAL
PRECIPITATION. THE TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK INDICATES CHANCES OF ABOVE
NORMAL TEMPERATURES OVER NORTHERN ARKANSAS AND EQUAL CHANCES OF
AT/ABOVE/BELOW NORMAL TEMPERATURES FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE STATE.

THE 90-DAY OUTLOOK ISSUED BY THE NWS CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER
INDICATES EQUAL CHANCES OF AT/ABOVE/BELOW NORMAL TEMPERATURES
AND PRECIPITATION FOR THE STATE.

THE U.S. DROUGHT MONITOR OF 1 MARCH 2016 INDICATES NO DROUGHT OR
ABNORMALLY DRY CONDITIONS PRESENT ACROSS ARKANSAS. THE CPC SEASONAL
DROUGHT OUTLOOK OF 18 FEBRUARY 2016 INDICATES NO DEVELOPMENT OF
DROUGHT CONDITIONS DURING THE NEXT THREE MONTHS.

CONCLUSION...

LONG TERM MODELS ARE BEGINNING TO SHOW AN ACTIVE AND PROGRESSIVE
WEATHER PATTERN PROVIDING MANY ROUNDS OF HEAVY RAINFALL HEADING INTO
THE SECOND WEEK OF MARCH. WITH PORTIONS OF THE LOWER WHITE RIVER
CURRENTLY ABOVE FLOOD STAGE...THEY WILL BE AT THE GREATEST RISK OF
MODERATE TO EVEN MAJOR FLOODING. WITH NEARLY A FOOT OF RAIN
POSSIBLE...EVEN AREAS BELOW BANKFULL WILL BE AT RISK FOR SIGNIFICANT
RIVER FLOODING. AT THIS TIME IT APPEARS THE RIVERS AND STREAMS AT
GREATEST RISKS WILL BE IN THE OUACHITA...LOWER ARKANSAS...LOWER
WHITE...AND BLACK RIVER SYSTEMS. PLEASE MONITOR LATEST FORECASTS FOR
UPDATES. ANY RIVER FLOODING THAT OCCURS AS A RESULT OF THIS MUCH
RAIN WILL LIKELY TAKE SEVERAL WEEKS TO RECEDE.

BY APRIL/MAY...EXPECT THE NORMAL PERIODS OF CONVECTIVE SEVERE
WEATHER OCCURRING PERIODICALLY AND IN SHORT DURATIONS OVER SMALLER
WATERSHEDS. ALTHOUGH THERE ARE NO STRONG INDICATORS THAT SUGGEST AN
OVERLY WET OR SEVERELY DRY SPRING...ANY LOCALIZED HIGH INTENSITY
RAINFALL CAN PRODUCE FLASH FLOODING. THIS SPRING FLOOD POTENTIAL
OUTLOOK DEFINES LONG TERM RIVER FLOODING...AND DOES NOT ASSESS THE
RISK OF SHORT TERM FLOODING.

THE SPRING POTENTIAL OUTLOOK IS A ROUTINE PRODUCT. SHOULD EXCESSIVE
RAINFALL BECOME PART OF THE FORECAST AT ANY TIME FRAME OF THE
YEAR...A HYDROLOGIC OUTLOOK WILL BE ISSUED WITH EVENT SPECIFIC
INFORMATION.

FOR THE LATEST RIVER STAGE INFORMATION...FORECAST...AND WARNINGS
PLEASE VISIT OUR WEBSITE AT:

HTTP://WWW.SRH.NOAA.GOV/LZK

RIVER STAGE AND FORECAST DATA CAN BE OBTAINED BY SELECTING THE
RIVERS AND LAKES AHPS LINK UNDER THE CURRENT CONDITIONS SECTION.

$$

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