Flood Potential Outlook
Issued by NWS Binghamton, NY

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Winter/Spring Flood Potential Outlook
National Weather Service Binghamton NY
301 PM EST Thu Jan 4 2018

...BELOW NORMAL FLOOD RISK THROUGH JANUARY 18TH...

This is the first in a series of regularly scheduled hydrologic
outlooks issued during the Winter and Spring season. This outlook
is designed to provide a generalized assessment of river flood
potential (not flash flooding) across Central New York and
Northeast Pennsylvania for the next two weeks...January 4th
through January 18th.

...SUMMARY...

.Risk of widespread river flooding for the next two weeks is low. The
risk for isolated ice jam flooding is about average for this time
of year.

...CURRENT CONDITIONS...

.PRECIPITATION: Below normal. Precipitation since the beginning
of December 2017 was significantly below normal for much of the
Susquehanna, Chemung and Delaware basins. Near,to slightly above
normal precipitation occurred from the Finger Lakes to the Upper
Mohawk river valley.

.SNOW COVER AND WATER EQUIVALENT: Below normal. The current snow
depth, as of January 4, was a few inches below normal in most
areas. Isolated spots from the northern Finger Lakes to the
headwaters of the Black River basin were near to slightly above
normal. Snow water equivalent was generally under 1 inch, with 2
to 3 inches in the headwater drainages of the Black River and
Upper Mohawk.

.RIVER ICE COVER: Normal. Most of the main stem river systems had
at least 50 to 75 percent ice coverage with many sections of
river completely frozen over. No ice jams have been reported. Ice
thickness calculations (not measurements) suggest ice could be
about 2-3 inches thicker than normal for early January, especially
on lakes and stagnant river pools. This may become a concern for
any mid-Winter thaws that may occur.

.STREAMFLOW: Below normal. Average monthly streamflow, at a
majority of the recording stream gauges, was below the 25th
percentile of all flows recorded throughout the history of each
stream gauge. Rivers are therefore considered to be running below
normal for this time of year.

.SOILS: Per the Palmer Drought and the Crop Moisture index, the
first several inches of topsoil was considered wet across the
Finger Lakes and Chemung basins, while the remainder of the region
was about average.

.RESERVOIR AND LAKE LEVELS...Variable. U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers flood control reservoir pools were generally normal to
slightly above for this time of year. NYC Reservoirs were slightly
below normal, and the Finger Lakes were variable, but neither
excessively high, or low.

...FORECAST OUTLOOK...

.FUTURE WEATHER CONDITIONS: The 6 to 14 day outlook calls for
seasonably cold temperatures and above normal precipitation with a
moderation to near and above normal temperatures toward the end
of the two week period.

.LONG RANGE RIVER MODELING AND PROBABILITY FORECASTS: The
ensemble of river forecast systems indicates very low
probabilities (less than 5 percent chance) of flooding for the
next two weeks. A climatological analysis of flooding, using
current hydrologic conditions compared to historical flows, also
suggests the chance for river flooding during the two week period
is well below the historical average.

...IN CONCLUSION...
This outlook estimates the potential for river and lake flooding
based on a current overview of hydro-meteorological factors which
contribute to flooding.

It is important to note that significant flooding does not occur
from snow melt alone. Rainfall, how much and in how short a period
of time, is the most important factor in determining the severity
of flooding. Specific forecasts of heavy rainfall and flash
flooding are not included in this outlook.

The next Winter/Spring Flood Outlook will be issued by this
office in two weeks, on January 18th, 2018. If conditions change
in the interim: Flood Watches, Warnings or Advisories will be
issued as necessary.

$$

JAB



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