Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Burlington, VT

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PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BURLINGTON VT
400 AM EST THU NOV 06 2014

...WINTER WEATHER AWARENESS WEEK ACROSS NORTHERN NEW ENGLAND...
...TODAYS TOPIC...FLOODING AND ICE JAMS...

ALL OF THE NEW ENGLAND STATES AS WELL AS THE STATE OF NEW YORK...
IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE OFFICES IN THESE
RESPECTIVE STATES...HAVE DESIGNATED THIS WEEK AS WINTER WEATHER
AWARENESS WEEK.

FLOODING IS THE GREATEST NATURAL HAZARD TO THE CITIZENS...LANDSCAPE...
INFRASTRUCTURE...PROPERTY AND ECONOMY FOR VERMONT AND NORTHERN NEW
YORK.

FLOODING CAN OCCUR AT ANY TIME OF THE YEAR...DAY OR NIGHT. THAT IS
WHY IT IS SO DANGEROUS. FLOODING DURING THE WINTER CAN BE THE RESULT
OF THREE SEPARATE SOURCES...HEAVY RAINFALL ON A FROZEN GROUND...
MELTING OF SNOW AND ICE JAMS OR IN MANY CASES A COMBINATION OF TWO
OR ALL THREE.

GENERALLY...SNOWMELT ALONE WILL CAUSE RISES IN AREA RIVERS AND/OR
MINOR LOWLAND FIELD AND ROAD FLOODING. MEANWHILE...THE COMBINATION
OF HEAVY RAINFALL AND SUBSTANTIAL SNOW MELT CAN LEAD TO RAPID
SURFACE WATER RUNOFF INTO STREAMS AND RIVERS CAUSING WIDESPREAD
FLOODING. ALTHOUGH THIS SCENARIO TYPICALLY OCCURS DURING THE END
OF WINTER AND EARLY SPRING WITH THE MILDER WEATHER...IT CAN OCCUR
AT ANY TIME SUCH WAS THE CASE IN JANUARY 1996.

LASTLY...ICE JAM FLOODING GENERALLY OCCURS BETWEEN MID-WINTER AND
EARLY SPRING DUE TO A PROLONGED WARM SPELL ACCELERATING SNOWMELT...
THUS ENHANCING RUNOFF LEADING TO RISES IN WATER LEVELS IN RIVERS...
CAUSING RIVER ICE TO BREAK-UP AND EVENTUALLY THE FORMATION OF
AN ICE JAM.  ICE JAMS TEND TO DEVELOP ALONG BENDS IN THE RIVER...
ALONG THE INTERSECTION OF RIVERS AND STREAMS OR WHERE THERE IS AN
OBSTRUCTION TO THE NATURAL FLOW OF WATER INCLUDING MAN-MADE
STRUCTURES SUCH AS BRIDGES. ICE JAMS CAN RESULT IN A RAPID AND
DRAMATIC RISE IN WATER LEVELS ALONG MAJOR RIVERS LIKE THE WINOOSKI
RIVER AT MONTPELIER IN MARCH 1992 OR SMALLER WATERWAYS SUCH AS THE
THE DISH MILL BROOK IN EAST BURKE IN MARCH 2008.

ICE JAMS CAN DEVELOP DURING THE FREEZE-UP STAGE...AS ICE FORMS
WITHIN A RIVER DURING SPELLS OF EXTREMELY COLD TEMPERATURES. THIS
ICE DEVELOPMENT RESTRICTS THE NORMAL FLOW OF THE RIVER AND THUS
CAN LEAD TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF AN ICE JAM.

IN ORDER TO PROVIDE ADVANCE NOTICE OF POSSIBLE FLOODING...THE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ISSUES FLOOD WATCHES AND WARNINGS.

A FLOOD WATCH MEANS THAT FLOODING IS POSSIBLE WITHIN THE NEXT
12 TO 36 HOURS AND PREPARATIONS SHOULD BE MADE IN CASE OF FLOODING.
A FLOOD WARNING MEANS THAT FLOODING IS IMMINENT OR OCCURRING...AND
IMMEDIATE SAFETY ACTIONS ARE NECESSARY.

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE METEOROLOGISTS AND HYDROLOGISTS ISSUE THE
FOLLOWING STATEMENTS OR WARNINGS TO HIGHLIGHT FLOOD THREATS...

RIVER FLOOD WARNINGS ARE ISSUED FOR FLOODING OF LARGER RIVERS AND
INCLUDE FORECASTS OF WATER LEVELS AT CERTAIN POINTS ALONG THE RIVER.

FLOOD WARNINGS ARE ISSUED FOR FLOODING OF SMALLER RIVERS AND STREAMS
AS A RESULT OF PROLONGED HEAVY RAINFALL AND/OR SNOWMELT AND ARE
ISSUED ON A COUNTY BY COUNTY BASIS.

FLASH FLOOD WARNINGS ARE ISSUED BY COUNTIES FOR SMALLER RIVERS
AND STREAMS WHEN RAPID RISES IN WATER LEVELS...OVER A SHORT PERIOD
OF TIME...WILL RESULT IN FLOODING. THE CAUSATIVE EVENT CAN BE FROM
VERY HEAVY RAINFALL OVER A PERIOD OF A FEW HOURS...DAM BREAKS OR ICE
JAMS.

IN ADDITION...DURING THE LATE WINTER AND EARLY SPRING MONTHS...THE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE...IN COORDINATION WITH OTHER AGENCIES...
MONITORS THE SNOW PACK AND ISSUES STATEMENTS ABOUT THE POTENTIAL
FOR SPRING FLOODING.

HERE ARE SOME SAFETY AND PREPAREDNESS TIPS...

AS THE WEATHER BECOMES MORE MODERATE WITH MILD TEMPERATURES...BE
ALERT FOR ICE BREAK UP AND THE INCREASED LIKELIHOOD OF ICE JAMS.
BE ALERT TO ANY RAPID RISES OR FALLS IN THE RIVER LEVELS...A
FLUCTUATION IN A RIVER LEVEL MAY INDICATE THAT AN ICE JAM HAS
FORMED. ICE JAMS CAN RESULT IN DANGEROUS FLOODING IN A SHORT
PERIOD OF TIME.

NEVER DRIVE A CAR INTO A FLOODED ROADWAY! TURN AROUND...DON/T
DROWN. CARS EASILY BECOME STUCK OR WASHED AWAY IN FLOOD WATERS
AND IT IS PARTICULARLY DANGEROUS AT NIGHT...WHEN ROAD WASHOUTS
MAY BE DIFFICULT TO SEE UNTIL IT`S TOO LATE.

BE ALERT FOR FLOODING IF YOU LIVE ALONG ANY RIVER OR STREAM.
KNOW THE HISTORY OF FLOODING IN YOUR AREA. BE PREPARED TO SEEK
HIGHER GROUND IF FLOOD WATERS APPROACH.

ALWAYS PLAN AHEAD BY LISTENING TO THE WEATHER FORECAST ON NOAA
WEATHER RADIO ALL HAZARDS. REPORT ANY FLOODING TO THE APPROPRIATE
AUTHORITIES AND ASK THEM TO RELAY THOSE REPORTS TO THE NATIONAL
WEATHER SERVICE. ALWAYS HEED THE ADVICE OF LOCAL OFFICIALS
CONCERNING THE NEED TO EVACUATE.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION...PLEASE CHECK OUR WEB PAGE AT
WEATHER.GOV...THEN CLICK ON VERMONT.


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