Flood Potential Outlook
Issued by NWS Binghamton, NY

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Winter/Spring Flood Potential Outlook
National Weather Service Binghamton NY
339 PM EST Thu Jan 19 2017

...WINTER/SPRING FLOOD POTENTIAL OUTLOOK NUMBER 2...

THIS IS THE SECOND 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 THE FLOOD POTENTIAL
ACROSS CENTRAL NEW YORK AND NORTHEAST PENNSYLVANIA FOR THE NEXT TWO
WEEKS...JANUARY 19TH TO FEBRUARY 2ND.

...SUMMARY...
THE FLOOD RISK WITH RESPECT TO EXISTING HYDROLOGIC CONDITIONS IS
GENERALLY BELOW AVERAGE FOR THE NEXT TWO WEEKS. A POTENTIAL RAIN
EVENT DURING THE JANUARY 22-24 TIME PERIOD COULD CREATE A BRIEF
ELEVATION TO A MINOR FLOOD RISK FOR SOME HEADWATER RIVER LOCATIONS
IN NEW YORK DURING THAT PERIOD.

...CURRENT CONDITIONS...

.PRECIPITATION...FOR THE PAST TWO WEEKS: ABOVE NORMAL IN THE NY BASINS.
BELOW NORMAL ACROSS NORTHEAST PA. SINCE EARLY JANUARY...LIQUID EQUIVALENT
PRECIPITATION MEASURED 1 TO 3 INCHES ACROSS THE AREA WITH THE HIGHEST
TOTALS EXTENDING FROM WESTERN BASINS TO NORTHERN BASINS. THIS RESULTS
IN DEPARTURES OF 110 TO 150 PERCENT OF NORMAL NORTH OF THE PA STATE
LINE, AND APPROXIMATELY 70 TO 90 PERCENT OF NORMAL ACROSS NORTHEAST
PA. PORTIONS OF THE CHEMUNG BASIN WERE UP TO 200 PERCENT OF NORMAL.

.SNOW COVER AND WATER EQUIVALENT...WELL BELOW AVERAGE. SNOW DEPTHS
WERE GENERALLY NON-EXISTENT FOR MUCH OF THE REGION WITH WHAT LITTLE
SNOW COVER THERE IS CONFINED TO THE HIGHER ELEVATIONS OF THE REGION.
SNOW COVER AND WATER EQUIVALENT AT THIS TIME IS DEEMED TO BE A
HYDROLOGICALLY INSIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTION TO FLOODING.

.RIVER ICE COVER...WELL BELOW AVERAGE. AS OF JANUARY 18TH...MOST
RIVERS WERE FREE OF ICE.

.STREAMFLOW AND SOIL CONDITIONS...STREAMFLOW AVERAGED OVER THE LAST
14 DAYS AT USGS MONITORING GAUGES WAS CURRENTLY ABOVE NORMAL DUE TO
RECENT RAINFALL. SOIL CONDITIONS WERE OF AVERAGE, TO WETTER THAN
AVERAGE ACROSS THE NY BASINS AND DRIER THAN AVERAGE ACROSS
NORTHEAST PA. TOPSOIL TEMPERATURES WERE ABOVE FREEZING AT MANY
LOCATIONS WITH NO SOLID ESTABLISHMENT OF A FROST LAYER.

.RESERVOIR AND LAKE LEVELS...VARIABLE. THE FINGER LAKES APPEARED TO
HAVE NORMAL WINTER POOLS, WHILE THE NYC DELAWARE RESERVOIR SYSTEM
AND LAKE WALLENPAUPACK WERE BELOW NORMAL.

...FORECAST OUTLOOK...

.FUTURE WEATHER CONDITIONS - THE 6 TO 14 DAY OUTLOOK CALLS FOR
WARMER THAN AVERAGE TEMPERATURES AND GENERALLY HIGHER THAN AVERAGE
PRECIPITATION. A LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM MOVING FROM THE SOUTHERN PLAINS
THROUGH THE MID-ATLANTIC, OR NORTHEASTERN STATES, MAY BRING MODERATE
TO HEAVY RAINFALL TO THE AREA FROM JANUARY 22-24. THIS RAINFALL EVENT
COULD BRIEFLY ENHANCE THE RISK FOR MINOR FLOODING ON THOSE DAYS.

.LONG RANGE RIVER MODELING AND PROBABILITY FORECASTS - RIVER FORECAST
MODEL BLENDS ARE INDICATING A GOOD CHANCE FOR SIGNIFICANT RISES ON
AREA RIVERS AND TRIBUTARIES AS A RESULT OF THE POTENTIAL RAINFALL
EVENT ON JANUARY 22-24. AT THIS TIME, THE RISK OF MINOR FLOODING
APPEARS TO BE LESS THAN A 30 PERCENT CHANCE, ALTHOUGH THIS EVENT
WILL NEED TO BE MONITORED CLOSELY AS IT DEVELOPS.

A CLIMATOLOGICAL ANALYSIS OF FLOODING, USING CURRENT HYDROLOGIC
CONDITIONS, SUGGESTS THE CHANCE OF RIVER FLOODING DURING THE
ENTIRE TWO WEEK PERIOD IS BELOW NORMAL MAINLY DUE TO THE FACT THAT
SNOW COVER AND RIVER ICE CONDITIONS ARE WELL BELOW THE LONG TERM
JANUARY AVERAGE. THIS CLIMATOLOGICAL SIGNAL STRONGLY SUGGESTS THAT
A WIDESPREAD, AND HEAVY, RAIN EVENT WOULD BE NECESSARY TO GENERATE
SIGNIFICANT FLOODING IN THE CENTRAL NEW YORK AND NORTHEAST
PENNSYLVANIA BASINS.

...IN CONCLUSION...
THE 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 FEBRUARY 2, 2017. IF CONDITIONS CHANGE IN
THE INTERIM...FLOOD WATCHES...WARNINGS OR ADVISORIES WILL BE
ISSUED AS NECESSARY.

$$

BREWSTER



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