Flood Potential Outlook
Issued by NWS Knoxville/Tri Cities, TN

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HYDROLOGIC OUTLOOK
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MORRISTOWN TN
100 PM EST THU MAR 5 2015 /1200 PM CST THU MAR 5 2015/

...SPRING FLOOD POTENTIAL OUTLOOK FOR EAST TENNESSEE...SOUTHWEST
VIRGINIA...AND EXTREME SOUTHWEST NORTH CAROLINA...

INTRODUCTION...

THIS IS THE 2015 SPRING FLOOD POTENTIAL OUTLOOK ISSUED BY THE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MORRISTOWN TENNESSEE FOR EAST
TENNESSEE...SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA...AND EXTREME SOUTHWESTERN NORTH
CAROLINA. THIS ISSUANCE OUTLINES CURRENT RIVER AND SOIL MOISTURE
CONDITIONS AND HIGHLIGHTS POTENTIAL SITUATIONS THAT WOULD INDUCE
FLOODING OR EXACERBATE DROUGHT.

IN SUMMARY...THE 2015 SPRING FLOOD POTENTIAL IS AVERAGE.

THE FOLLOWING SECTIONS DESCRIBE PAST AND CURRENT CONDITIONS AND
FUTURE EXPECTATIONS.


SNOW PACK...

VERY LITTLE SNOW PACK REMAINED FROM THE WINTER STORMS OF FEBRUARY.
HOWEVER...WINTER WEATHER IS OCCURRING TODAY...AND WILL PRODUCE A
FRESH SNOW COVER OVER THE CUMBERLAND PLATEAU AND ADJACENT CUMBERLAND
MOUNTAINS OF TENNESSEE AND SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA. THIS SNOW PACK COULD
RANGE FROM 1 TO 4 INCHES OF FRESH SNOW...WITH LIQUID EQUIVALENTS
MOSTLY LESS THAN A HALF INCH. THERE IS LITTLE TO NO SNOW PACK OVER
THE APPALACHIANS...BUT TODAYS WINTER WEATHER SYSTEM IS EXPECTED TO
PRODUCE MAYBE 1 INCH OF NEW SNOW THERE WITH WATER EQUIVALENTS ONLY
AROUND A TENTH OF AN INCH. BRIEF LIGHT ACCUMULATIONS OF SLEET AND
SNOW ARE POSSIBLE TODAY IN THE VALLEY. MOST OF TODAYS SNOW
ACCUMULATIONS WILL BE GONE BY THE END OF THE WEEK.


PRECIPITATION...

OVER THE PAST 30 DAYS...PRECIPITATION RANGED FROM 125 TO 150 PERCENT
OF NORMAL ACROSS THE NORTHERN PLATEAU AND THE ADJACENT CUMBERLAND
MOUNTAINS. BUT PRECIPITATION WAS ONLY 50 TO 75 PERCENT OF NORMAL IN
THE MOUNTAINS OF EAST TENNESSEE AND SOUTHWEST NORTH CAROLINA.
PRECIPITATION IN THE TENNESSEE VALLEY WAS NEAR NORMAL FROM WATTS BAR
LAKE NORTHEASTWARD...BUT WAS ONLY 50 TO 75 PERCENT OF NORMAL IN
AREAS TO THE SOUTHWEST INCLUDING CHATTANOOGA.

OVER THE PAST 60 DAYS...NEAR NORMAL PRECIPITATION HAS OCCURRED OVER
THE NORTHERN PLATEAU AND THE ADJACENT CUMBERLAND MOUNTAINS. BUT
PRECIPITATION WAS ONLY 50 TO 75 PERCENT OF NORMAL IN THE MOUNTAINS
OF EAST TENNESSEE AND SOUTHWEST NORTH CAROLINA. PRECIPITATION IN THE
TENNESSEE VALLEY WAS 75 TO 90 PERCENT OF NORMAL FROM WATTS BAR LAKE
NORTHEASTWARD...BUT ONLY 50 TO 75 PERCENT OF NORMAL TO THE SOUTHWEST
INCLUDING CHATTANOOGA.


TEMPERATURES...

AFTER A MILD DECEMBER THAT RAN 2 TO 3 DEGREES ABOVE NORMAL...
JANUARY WAS 1 TO 2 DEGREES BELOW NORMAL. BUT FEBRUARY WAS VERY
COLD...AVERAGING 8 DEGREES BELOW NORMAL. OVERALL...OUR TEMPERATURES
FOR THE PAST 90 DAYS HAVE AVERAGED ABOUT 2 TO 3 DEGREES BELOW
NORMAL.


DROUGHT...

AREAS OF D0...D ZERO...OR OF ABNORMALLY DRY STATUS...WERE NOTED FROM
RUSSELL AND WASHINGTON COUNTIES IN VIRGINIA...DOWN THE SPINE OF THE
APPALACHIANS MAINLY IN NORTH CAROLINA...AND INTO PORTIONS OF
MARION...HAMILTON...BRADLEY...AND POLK COUNTIES OF TENNESSEE.


SOIL MOISTURE...

OVERALL SOIL MOISTURE CONDITIONS ARE NEAR NORMAL ACROSS THE AREA.
HOWEVER...RECENT SNOW MELT AND RAIN HAS THE NEAR SURFACE SOILS VERY
MOIST...ESPECIALLY OVER THE NORTHERN PLATEAU AND ACROSS SOUTHWEST
VIRGINIA.


STREAMFLOWS...

WINTRY PRECIPITATION EVENTS IN FEBRUARY PRODUCED A SIGNIFICANT
SNOWPACK ACROSS SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA. THE ONSET OF WARMER
TEMPERATURES EARLIER THIS WEEK COMBINED WITH RAINFALL OVER THE PAST
48 HOURS TO PRODUCE WIDESPREAD SNOW MELT DRIVEN FLOODING ACROSS
SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA...AND INTO THE POWELL AND CLINCH BASINS OF
NORTHERN TENNESSEE...AND ACROSS THE CUMBERLAND PLATEAU OF TENNESSEE.
THIS FLOODING IS THE FIRST RIVER FLOODING OF NOTE OVER THE PAST
SEVERAL MONTHS. THEREFORE THERE ARE ELEVATED STREAMFLOWS ON THE
HOLSTON...CLINCH...POWELL...AND EMORY RIVERS. STREAMFLOWS ON THESE
RIVERS ARE CURRENTLY MUCH ABOVE NORMAL.

SPECIFICALLY...IN THE HEADWATER AREAS IN VIRGINIA...THE UPPER CLINCH
AND UPPER HOLSTON BASIN STREAMFLOWS ARE MUCH ABOVE NORMAL. THE LOWER
CLINCH AND POWELL BASIN STREAMFLOWS OF TENNESSEE ARE CURRENTLY MUCH
ABOVE NORMAL. FOR THE RIVERS WHOSE HEADWATER AREAS ARE IN WESTERN
NORTH CAROLINA...THE FRENCH BROAD...UPPER PIGEON... LITTLE TENNESSEE
AND HIWASSEE RIVERS...STREAMFLOWS ARE NEAR NORMAL.

THE ELEVATED STREAMFLOWS ARE NOT UNUSUAL FOLLOWING A NOTABLE
PRECIPITATION AND SNOW MELT EVENT...AND THOSE RIVERS WILL EXPERIENCE
FALLS TOWARD NORMAL STREAMFLOWS THROUGH THE MIDDLE OF NEXT WEEK.

STREAMFLOWS AS A PERCENT OF DAILY NORMAL ARE GIVEN FOR RIVER POINTS
IN...OR IMMEDIATELY UPSTREAM FROM...OUR HYDROLOGIC SERVICE AREA.

RIVER...                        LOCATION...    3/4/15
N FORK HOLSTON RIVER           SALTVILLE VA     766%
MID FORK HOLSTON RIVER   SEVEN MILE FORD VA     746%
CLINCH RIVER                   CLEVELAND VA     872%
CLINCH RIVER                    TAZEWELL TN     546%
POWELL RIVER                      ARTHUR TN     584%
EMORY RIVER                      OAKDALE TN     360%
PIGEON RIVER                       HEPCO NC     123%
FRENCH BROAD RIVER             ASHEVILLE NC      81%


TENNESSEE RIVER BASIN RESERVOIR LEVELS...

THE PERCENT OF AVAILABLE FLOOD CONTROL STORAGE FOR RESERVOIRS IN THE
TENNESSEE BASIN ABOVE CHATTANOOGA IS 99 PERCENT.


METEOROLOGICAL OUTLOOK...

THE WEEK TWO OUTLOOK FOR DAYS 8 TO 14 SHOWS GOOD PROBABILITIES FOR
WARMER AND WETTER THAN NORMAL CONDITIONS.

THE CLIMATE OUTLOOK FOR THE MONTH OF MARCH SHOWS NO DISCERNIBLE
TRENDS FOR THE TEMPERATURE FORECAST...BUT A SLIGHTLY ELEVATED CHANCE
FOR ABOVE NORMAL PRECIPITATION.

THE LONGER TERM CLIMATE OUTLOOK FOR THE 3 MONTH PERIOD OF MARCH
THROUGH MAY INDICATES NO DISCERNIBLE TREND FOR THE TEMPERATURE AND
PRECIPITATION FORECAST...OR TO PUT IT ANOTHER WAY...THERE ARE EQUAL
CHANCES THAT THINGS COULD TURN OUT ABOVE...NEAR...OR BELOW NORMAL.


THE 2015 SPRING FLOOD OUTLOOK...

BASED ON ALL OF THE ABOVE CONSIDERATIONS...AN AVERAGE FLOOD POTENTIAL
IS EXPECTED FOR THE EAST TENNESSEE...SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA...AND
EXTREME SOUTHWEST NORTH CAROLINA BASINS.


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...

THIS OUTLOOK WAS CREATED WITH INPUT FROM THE LOWER MISSISSIPPI RIVER
FORECAST CENTER...THE UNITED STATES GEOLOGICAL SURVEY...THE
TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY...STATE AND COUNTY OFFICIALS...AND
VARIOUS COOPERATIVE WEATHER SPOTTERS. FOR MORE INFORMATION THE
FOLLOWING WEBSITES ARE USEFUL:

HTTP://WWW.WEATHER.GOV/MORRISTOWN
HTTP://WWW.SRH.NOAA.GOV/LMRFC
HTTP://WATERDATA.USGS.GOV
HTTP://WWW.TVA.GOV
HTTP://WWW.TN.GOV
HTTP://WWW.DEQ.VIRGINIA.GOV
HTTP://WWW.NCWATER.ORG
HTTP://DROUGHT.UNL.EDU
HTTP://WWW.NOHRSC.NOAA.GOV
HTTP://WWW.CPC.NCEP.NOAA.GOV


YOU MAY ALSO CONTACT...

FOR GENERAL WEATHER INFORMATION OR FORECASTS...CALL 423-586-3771

FOR INFORMATION RELATED TO THIS OUTLOOK CONTACT...

GLENN CARRIN, SERVICE HYDROLOGIST, 423-586-3771
GEORGE MATHEWS, METEOROLOGIST IN CHARGE
423-586-1964 MEDIA ONLY PLEASE

OR WRITE GLENN.CARRIN@NOAA.GOV AND GEORGE.MATHEWS@NOAA.GOV

$$

GDC



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