Flood Potential Outlook
Issued by NWS Boston, MA

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CTC003-013-015-MAC001-005-007-009-011-013-015-017-019-021-023-025-
027-RIC001-003-005-007-009-211845-

WINTER/SPRING FLOOD POTENTIAL OUTLOOK
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TAUNTON MA
138 PM EST Thu Jan 19 2017

...THE WINTER/SPRING FLOOD POTENTIAL RANGES FROM BELOW NORMAL ACROSS
THE EAST SLOPES OF THE Berkshires...TO SLIGHTLY ABOVE NORMAL
ACROSS EASTERN MA AND NORTHERN RI...

THE WINTER/SPRING FLOOD POTENTIAL FOR SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND IS BELOW
NORMAL ACROSS THE EAST SLOPES OF THE Berkshires...BUT NEAR TO
SLIGHTLY ABOVE NORMAL ACROSS NORTHERN Connecticut...CENTRAL AND
EASTERN MASSACHUSETTS...AND RHODE ISLAND. THROUGHOUT SOUTHERN NEW
ENGLAND...THE POTENTIAL FOR FLOODING DUE TO ICE JAMS IS BELOW NORMAL
TO NON-EXISTENT.

THE FOLLOWING WEB SITE HAS A MAP DEPICTING THE FLOOD POTENTIAL
OUTLOOK... HTTP://WWW.WEATHER.GOV/NERFC/SPRINGFLOODPOTENTIAL

THIS IS THE SECOND WINTER/SPRING FLOOD POTENTIAL OUTLOOK OF THE 2017
SEASON. THIS OUTLOOK IS BASED ON CURRENT AND FORECAST
HYDROMETEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS. THIS INCLUDES SNOW COVER AND SNOW
WATER EQUIVALENT...STREAM AND RIVER LEVELS AND THE AMOUNT OF ICE
COVERAGE...ALONG WITH EXPECTED TEMPERATURES AND PRECIPITATION OVER
THE NEXT TWO WEEKS.

...RECENT PRECIPITATION...

DECEMBER 2016 BROUGHT VARIED AMOUNTS OF PRECIPITATION TO SOUTHERN
NEW ENGLAND. WHILE CENTRAL AND WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS HAD ABOVE
NORMAL PRECIPITATION...EASTERN MASSACHUSETTS...INCLUDING CAPE COD
AND THE ISLANDS HAD BELOW NORMAL PRECIPITATION. THE EXCEPTION TO
EASTERN MASSACHUSETTS WAS ESSEX COUNTY WHERE PRECIPITATION WAS ABOVE
NORMAL. FOR RHODE ISLAND AND NORTHEAST Connecticut...PRECIPITATION
WAS BELOW NORMAL.

DURING JANUARY 2017 THROUGH JANUARY 18...LIQUID EQUIVALENT
PRECIPITATION RANGED FROM 1.5 TO 2.5 INCHES...EXCEPT 2.5 TO AROUND
3 INCHES ACROSS MOST OF RHODE ISLAND AND SOUTHEAST MASSACHUSETTS.
PRECIPITATION WAS SLIGHTLY BELOW NORMAL ACROSS MUCH OF WESTERN
MASSACHUSETTS AND NORTHERN Connecticut...BUT WAS NORMAL TO
SOMEWHAT ABOVE NORMAL ACROSS RHODE ISLAND AND THE EASTERN HALF OF
MASSACHUSETTS.

...OBSERVED SNOW DEPTHS AND WATER EQUIVALENTS...

AS OF JANUARY 19...ACROSS MOST OF SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND THE GROUND
WAS EITHER BARE OR HAD A SNOW DEPTH LESS THAN 2 INCHES. THE
EXCEPTION WAS ACROSS THE HIGHER TERRAIN OF NORTH CENTRAL AND
NORTHWEST MASSACHUSETTS WHERE SNOW DEPTHS RANGED FROM TO 2 TO 6
INCHES. THE SNOW PACK IS BELOW NORMAL FOR MID JANUARY IN EXTENT
AND COVERAGE.

THE SNOW WATER EQUIVALENT IN THE EXISTING SNOW PACK IS 0.5 TO 1.0
INCH. THIS TOO IS BELOW NORMAL IN EXTENT AND COVERAGE FOR MID
JANUARY.

...RIVER AND ICE CONDITIONS...

RIVERS AND STREAMS WERE MOSTLY RUNNING AT NORMAL TO ABOVE NORMAL
FLOWS AS OF JANUARY 19. ONLY A Handful OF GAGED RIVERS AND
STREAMS WERE RUNNING AT BELOW NORMAL LEVELS...INCLUDING SOME
TRIBUTARIES TO THE Connecticut RIVER IN NORTH CENTRAL Connecticut
SUCH AS THE FARMINGTON AND HOCKANUM RIVERS.

OTHER THAN A BRIEF COLD SNAP DURING JANUARY 7 TO 10...TEMPERATURES
MONTH TO DATE HAVE BEEN ABOVE NORMAL. MILD TEMPERATURES...COMBINED
WITH RAINFALL AND SNOWMELT...HAVE RESULTED IN PERIODS OF ELEVATED
STREAM FLOWS. THE COMBINATION OF ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES AND
ELEVATED STREAM FLOWS HAS RESULTED IN MINIMAL RIVER ICE ON AREA
RIVERS.

...SOIL MOISTURE CONDITIONS AND WATER SUPPLY...

THE LONG TERM DROUGHT ACROSS SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND TOOK ITS TOLL ON
THE GROUNDWATER LEVELS THROUGH THE FALL AND EARLY WINTER.
HOWEVER...THE MILD TEMPERATURES AND SUBSEQUENT THAWED SOILS HAVE
ALLOWED FOR SOME GROUNDWATER RECOVERY DURING JANUARY. SOME
GROUNDWATER WELLS MONITORED BY THE U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY HAVE
RETURNED TO NORMAL LEVELS. OTHERS ARE STILL AT BELOW OR WELL BELOW
NORMAL LEVELS...BUT ARE SHOWING SIGNS OF IMPROVEMENT. THIS IS
INDICATIVE OF SOME SHORT TERM RELIEF DURING A LONG TERM DROUGHT.

WATER SUPPLY AS OF LATE DECEMBER AND EARLY JANUARY WAS MAINLY BELOW
NORMAL IN MASSACHUSETTS AND Connecticut...AND NORMAL IN RHODE
ISLAND. IN MASSACHUSETTS...THE QUABBIN RESERVOIR...THE MAIN WATER
SUPPLY RESERVOIR FOR 47 COMMUNITIES IN METRO BOSTON WAS AT 79.1
PERCENT OF CAPACITY AS OF JANUARY 1 2017. THE WACHUSETT RESERVOIR
WAS AT 91.2 PERCENT CAPACITY.

WITH MINIMAL SNOW ON THE GROUND...WATER SUPPLY DOES REMAIN A CONCERN
GOING THROUGH THIS WINTER INTO SPRING UNLESS WE SEE A CONTINUATION
OF NORMAL TO ABOVE NORMAL PRECIPITATION FOR THE REMAINDER OF WINTER
AND INTO THE SPRING.

...TEMPERATURE AND PRECIPITATION OUTLOOK...

TEMPERATURES ARE EXPECTED TO BE WARMER THAN NORMAL OVER THE NEXT 7
DAYS. SOME LIGHT PRECIPITATION IS POSSIBLE DURING FRIDAY
NIGHT...OTHERWISE MAINLY DRY CONDITIONS ARE FORECAST INTO SUNDAY.
THEN A ROBUST LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM IS EXPECTED TO AFFECT OUR REGION
EARLY NEXT WEEK. THE EXACT PRECIPITATION TYPE FOR THIS EVENT IS
STILL UNCERTAIN...ALTHOUGH THE ANTICIPATED MILDER THAN NORMAL
CONDITIONS BRING THE POSSIBILITY OF THIS BEING A MAINLY RAIN EVENT.
THIS SYSTEM HAS THE POTENTIAL TO BRING ABUNDANT PRECIPITATION TO
SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND. AT THIS TIME...THE POTENTIAL EXISTS FOR 1 TO 3
INCHES OF RAIN...WITH LOCALIZED HIGHER AMOUNTS POSSIBLE.

THE OFFICIAL NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE 8-14 DAY OUTLOOK FOR JANUARY
26 TO FEBRUARY 1...CALLS FOR TEMPERATURES AND PRECIPITATION TO BE
ABOVE NORMAL.

...SUMMARY...

BASED ON THE INFORMATION AVAILABLE AT THIS TIME...THE SPRING FLOOD
POTENTIAL IS BELOW NORMAL ACROSS THE EAST SLOPES OF THE
Berkshires...AND NORMAL TO SLIGHTLY ABOVE NORMAL ACROSS THE
REMAINDER OF SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND. THE POTENTIAL FOR FLOODING DUE TO
ICE JAMS IS BELOW NORMAL TO NON-EXISTENT.

ALTHOUGH THE AMOUNT OF SNOW ON THE GROUND AVAILABLE FOR MELT RUNOFF
IS CERTAINLY BELOW NORMAL...THE POSSIBILITY OF A SIGNIFICANT STORM
SYSTEM BRINGING HEAVY RAINFALL TO THE REGION EARLY NEXT WEEK SHIFTS
THE SCALE ENOUGH TO JUSTIFY A NORMAL TO SLIGHTLY ABOVE NORMAL RISK
FOR FLOODING ACROSS MUCH OF THE AREA OVER THE NEXT TWO WEEKS.

LOOKING AT THE LONGER TERM FLOOD THREAT FOR FEBRUARY AND INTO
SPRING...THE AREA MAINTAINS A NEAR TO BELOW NORMAL THREAT FOR
FLOODING UNLESS SNOW DEPTHS MARKEDLY INCREASE.

KEEP IN MIND THAT HEAVY RAIN CAN CAUSE FLOODING ANY TIME OF THE
YEAR. THOSE WITH INTERESTS ALONG RIVERS AND STREAMS SHOULD CHECK THE
HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK...WHICH HIGHLIGHTS ANY POTENTIAL FLOOD
EVENTS OVER THE NEXT 7 DAYS. GO TO WEATHER.GOV/BOSTON AND CLICK ON
THE OPTION CURRENT HAZARDS...THEN CLICK ON LOCAL OUTLOOK.

$$

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