Flood Potential Outlook
Issued by NWS Huntsville, AL

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HYDROLOGIC OUTLOOK
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HUNTSVILLE AL
102 PM CDT THU MAR 12 2015

...SPRING FLOOD OUTLOOK...

THE FLOOD POTENTIAL FOR THE TENNESSEE VALLEY OF NORTHERN ALABAMA AND
SOUTHERN MIDDLE TENNESSEE FAVORS AVERAGE FLOOD POTENTIAL FOR SPRING
2015. PRECIPITATION THIS WINTER HAS BEEN AT OR SLIGHTLY BELOW
NORMAL WITH COLDER TEMPERATURES EARLY ON...BUT RECENT HEAVY RAINFALL
HAS ENHANCED RUNOFF WHICH HAS CAUSED SOME MINOR FLOODING ON AREA
RIVERS. ALTHOUGH FLOODING HAS OCCURRED...THIS IS TYPICAL FOR WINTER
AND SPRING IN THE TENNESSEE VALLEY. RECENT RAINFALL HAS CAUSED
ELEVATED STREAMFLOWS OVER NORTH ALABAMA AND SOUTHERN MIDDLE
TENNESSEE...WITH SOIL MOISTURE CONTENT REMAINING AT OR SLIGHTLY ABOVE
NORMAL FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR.

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN HUNTSVILLE ISSUES A SPRING FLOOD
POTENTIAL OUTLOOK EACH SPRING. THIS PRODUCT IS BASED ON ANALYSIS OF
SOIL MOISTURE...RIVER AND STREAM LEVELS...RESERVOIR LEVELS...AND
FUTURE PRECIPITATION PATTERNS. SNOW COVER IN THE BASIN AS A WHOLE IS
FACTORED IN TO THE OUTLOOK...IF IT IS PRESENT. A SECOND SPRING FLOOD
OUTLOOK MAY BE ISSUED LATER IF CONDITIONS WARRANT.

...CURRENT CONDITIONS...
2015 STARTED OFF WITH VERY COLD AND DRY CONDITIONS WITH ARCTIC
AIRMASSES INVADING THE TENNESSEE VALLEY SEVERAL TIMES DURING THE
MONTH OF JANUARY. FEBRUARY WAS VERY BUSY WITH WINTER WEATHER...WITH
SEVERAL SNOW AND ICE EVENTS IMPACTING THE TENNESSEE VALLEY DURING THE
MID TO LATTER HALF OF THE MONTH. DURING THE THIRD WEEK OF
FEBRUARY...THE AREA RECEIVED BETWEEN 4 AND 12 INCHES OF SNOW...WHICH
TOOK SEVERAL DAYS TO MELT AND THEN WAS FOLLOWED BY A WEEK OF HEAVY
RAINFALL IN EARLY TO MID MARCH. THIS CAUSED ABOVE NORMAL RAINFALL
AMOUNTS AS WELL AS HIGHER THAN NORMAL SOIL MOISTURE CONTENT FOR THE
REGION...WHICH LED TO MINOR TO MODERATE FLOODING AT SEVERAL
RIVER/CREEK GAGE SITES ACROSS NORTHERN ALABAMA AND SOUTHERN MIDDLE
TENNESSEE.

SOIL MOISTURE CONTENT IS SLIGHTLY ABOVE NORMAL AND SEVERAL SITES ARE
RECOVERING FROM MINOR TO MODERATE FLOODING AT THIS TIME. DUE TO THE
RECENT HIGHER THAN NORMAL RAINFALL AMOUNTS OVER RECENT WEEKS...NO
COUNTIES WITHIN THE NWS HUNTSVILLE HYDROLOGIC SERVICE AREA ARE
INCLUDED IN ANY DROUGHT MONITORS AT THIS TIME.

THE PRECIPITATION OUTLOOK FOR MARCH THROUGH MAY FAVORS EQUAL CHANCES
OF ABOVE OR BELOW NORMAL PRECIPITATION VALUES...WITH HIGHER CHANCES
TO OUR SOUTH/WEST TOWARD THE ARKLATEX AND SOUTH TEXAS REGIONS. THE
TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK FOR MATCH THROUGH MAY ALSO FAVORS EQUAL CHANCES
OF ABOVE OR BELOW NORMAL TEMPERATURE VALUES.

RIVER AND STREAM LEVELS WERE LOWER IN THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAR DUE
TO NORMAL OR BELOW NORMAL RAINFALL AMOUNTS...BUT THROUGHOUT THE
MONTH OF FEBRUARY HAVE RISEN OVERALL TO ABOVE NORMAL LEVELS FOR THIS
TIME OF YEAR. ACROSS ALABAMA AND TENNESSEE...RIVER AND STREAM LEVELS
ARE AVERAGING AROUND 200 TO 300 PERCENT (OR MORE) OF NORMAL. BEAR
CREEK AND CEDAR CREEK LAKES ARE OPERATING WELL ABOVE THEIR WINTER
RECHARGE PHASES. TIMS FORD LAKE IS ALSO OPERATING ABOVE NORMAL. ALONG
THE TENNESSEE RIVER...GUNTERSVILLE...WHEELER...AND WILSON ARE
OPERATING WELL ABOVE NORMAL WINTER RECHARGE PHASES...WITH WHEELER DAM
OBSERVING WATER LEVELS WITHIN A FOOT OF THE TOP OF THE GATES AT THE
DAM! AREAS ALONG THE TENNESSEE DO NOT OFFICIALLY ENTER THEIR RECHARGE
PHASES UNTIL LATER IN MARCH AND APRIL...THOUGH LIKE LAST YEAR...MOST
ARE OPERATING AT THE TOP OF THEIR NORMAL OPERATING ZONE OR SLIGHTLY
ABOVE IT ALREADY.

THE OUTLOOK FOR RIVER LEVELS...SOIL MOISTURE...AND GROUNDWATER
THROUGH LATE MARCH IS FOR AN INITIAL INCREASE THANKS TO RECENT HEAVY
RAINFALL...FOLLOWED BY A GRADUAL DECREASE AS WE HEAD INTO SPRING.
WITH THE RECENT PATTERN IN PLACE ACROSS THE SOUTHEAST FOR THE PAST
FEW MONTHS...WETTER CONDITIONS WILL LIKELY PREVAIL IN THE SHORT-TERM
BEFORE GRADUALLY DECREASING AS WE ENTER INTO THE TRADITIONALLY DRIER
TIME OF YEAR HEADING INTO LATE SPRING/EARLY SUMMER. IF THIS IS
TRUE AND DRIER CONDITIONS RETURN PRIOR TO CURRENT THINKING...MORE
CHANGES WILL BEGIN TO BE NOTED IN RIVER LEVELS...SOIL MOISTURE...AND
GROUNDWATER LEVELS AS THEY BEGIN TO DECREASE.

.7-DAY FORECAST...
THE TENNESSEE VALLEY HAS BEEN IN A FAIRLY ACTIVE WEATHER PATTERN FOR
THE BETTER PART OF THE PAST MONTH NOW...BUT THANKFULLY...A REPRIEVE
IS UPCOMING FOR THE AREA. AFTER A WINTRY MIDDLE AND END TO
FEBRUARY...MARCH STARTED OUT WETTER AND WARMER THAN NORMAL. THE
SECOND WEEK OF MARCH ALONE HELD 4-6" OF RAIN FOR A MAJORITY OF THE
HYDROLOGIC SERVICE AREA...BUT A PATTERN CHANGE IN THE WORKS. ONCE
THIS WET PATTERN BREAKS BY THIS WEEKEND...DRIER WEATHER LOOKS TO
PREVAIL FOR THE NEXT 7 DAYS...WITH HIGHS IN THE UPPER 60S TO LOWER
70S...AND MORNING LOWS IN THE MIDDLE 40S TO AROUND 50 EACH DAY.

.8-14 DAY FORECAST...
THE EIGHT TO FOURTEEN DAY OUTLOOK ISSUED BY THE CLIMATE PREDICTION
CENTER CALLS FOR ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES AND SLIGHTLY HIGHER THAN
NORMAL PRECIPITATION VALUES FOR THE AREA FOR THE PERIOD OF MARCH 19TH
THROUGH THE 24TH.

.MONTHLY OUTLOOK FOR MARCH...
THE OUTLOOK FOR MARCH ISSUED BY THE CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER FAVORS
EQUAL CHANCES FOR ABOVE OR BELOW NORMAL TEMPERATURES AND PRECIPITATION.

.SEASONAL OUTLOOK FOR THE SPRING...
THE OUTLOOK FOR THE SPRING SEASON...MARCH THROUGH MAY...ISSUED BY
THE CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER FAVORS EQUAL CHANCES OF ABOVE OR BELOW
NORMAL TEMPERATURES. THE TEMPERATURE PROBABILITIES ARE AS FOLLOWS:

ABOVE NORMAL.....33%
NEAR NORMAL......33%
BELOW NORMAL.....33%

THE PRECIPITATION OUTLOOK FOR MARCH THROUGH MAY INDICATES EQUAL
CHANCES FOR ABOVE OR BELOW NORMAL PRECIPITATION FOR NORTH
ALABAMA.

.LONG RANGE PROBABILISTIC RIVER FORECASTS...
PROBABILITIES OF LONG-TERM FLOOD POTENTIAL FOR THE TENNESSEE VALLEY
TRIBUTARIES ARE PROVIDED WEEKLY BY THE LOWER MISSISSIPPI RIVER
FORECAST CENTER IN SLIDELL LOUISIANA. THESE PROBABILITIES SHOULD BE
USED FOR PLANNING PURPOSES AND FACTOR IN HISTORICAL CONDITIONS IN
MULTIPLE SCENARIOS. THEY DO NOT INCLUDE FUTURE RAINFALL.

THESE PROBABILITIES INDICATE AN AVERAGE FLOOD POTENTIAL FOR THE 90-
DAY PERIOD ENDING JUNE 12TH 2015...ABOUT 15 PERCENT ON THE FLINT
RIVER NEAR CHASE...ABOUT 19 PERCENT ON THE ELK RIVER ABOVE
FAYETTEVILLE...ABOUT 73 PERCENT ON THE PAINT ROCK RIVER NEAR
WOODVILLE...AND ABOUT 46 PERCENT ON THE BIG NANCE CREEK NEAR
COURTLAND.

THESE FIGURES ARE FOR PLANNING PURPOSES ONLY. DO NOT USE THEM AS A
MEANS OF IGNORING FLOOD THREATS THAT MAY OCCUR WITH HEAVY RAINFALL.
IF FLOOD OUTLOOKS...WATCHES...OR WARNINGS ARE ISSUED...TAKE
IMMEDIATE ACTION TO PROTECT YOUR LIFE AND PROPERTY!

.WRAPUP...
THE FLOOD POTENTIAL FOR SPRING 2015 IS AVERAGE ACROSS THE ENTIRE
HUNTSVILLE HYDROLOGIC SERVICE AREA...AND WILL MAINLY BE CONVECTIVELY
DRIVEN BY STORM SYSTEMS THAT AFFECT THE AREA.

THIS PRODUCT IS DESIGNED TO GIVE THE PUBLIC AND EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT
OFFICIALS AN OUTLOOK ON THE POTENTIAL FOR FLOODING DURING THE NEXT
FEW MONTHS...THE TRADITIONAL FLOODING SEASON. THIS AND OTHER
HYDROLOGIC INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE ON THE INTERNET AT
HTTP://WEATHER.GOV/HUNTSVILLE UNDER THE RIVERS AND LAKES LINK ON THE
LEFT. IT IS ALSO AVAILABLE ON THE TAB ABOVE THE WATCH/WARNING MAP
DISPLAYED ON THE WEBPAGE AS WELL.

THERE IS NO NATIONAL FLOOD SAFETY AWARENESS WEEK THIS YEAR...HOWEVER
EACH STATE WILL MANDATE THEIR OWN SPECIAL WEEK OF OBSERVANCE TO
HIGHLIGHT THE IMPACTS FROM HEAVY RAINFALL/FLOODING. THESE WEEKS
USUALLY FALL IN THE MIDDLE OF MARCH...SO STAY TUNED FOR FURTHER
INFORMATION FORTHCOMING FROM THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE OFFICE IN
HUNTSVILLE...BOTH ON OUR WEBSITE AND SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS.

STREAM AND RAINFALL DATA ARE PROVIDED BY THE TENNESSEE
VALLEY AUTHORITY...THE U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY...THE U.S. ARMY CORPS
OF ENGINEERS...AND THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE COOPERATIVE AND
BACKYARD WEATHER OBSERVERS. WE THANK THESE PARTNERS FOR THEIR
VALUABLE DATA.

&&

FOR QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS ABOUT THIS OUTLOOK...PLEASE CONTACT:

CHELLY AMIN
HYDROLOGY PROGRAM MANAGER
NWS HUNTSVILLE
256.890.8503 EXT. 225

OR

CHRIS DARDEN
METEOROLOGIST-IN-CHARGE
NWS HUNTSVILLE
256.890.8503 EXT. 222

$$

AMIN



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