Flood Potential Outlook
Issued by NWS Binghamton, NY

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WINTER/SPRING FLOOD POTENTIAL OUTLOOK
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BINGHAMTON NY
124 PM EST THU JAN 22 2015

...WINTER/SPRING FLOOD POTENTIAL OUTLOOK...

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
22ND TO FEBRUARY 5TH.

...SUMMARY...

.OVERALL FLOOD POTENTIAL...NEAR TO BELOW NORMAL. FOR THE NEXT TWO WEEKS...
THE FLOOD POTENTIAL FROM MELTING SNOW...SOIL CONDITION AND CURRENT/FUTURE
WEATHER CONDITIONS IS BELOW AVERAGE. THE FLOOD POTENTIAL FROM ICE JAMS IS
ABOUT AVERAGE FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR.

...CURRENT CONDITIONS...

.PRECIPITATION...VARIABLE. SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THE WATER YEAR ON
OCTOBER 1ST...PRECIPITATION AMOUNTS RANGE FROM APPROXIMATELY 5 TO 15
INCHES ACROSS THE REGION. THE HIGHEST AMOUNTS WERE FOUND ACROSS THE
LAKE ONTARIO SNOW BELT REGION...AND THE LOWEST AMOUNTS WERE RECORDED
ACROSS THE FINGER LAKES...CHEMUNG BASIN AND PARTS OF THE UPPER DELAWARE
BASIN. DEPARTURES FROM AVERAGE FOR THIS TIME PERIOD RANGED FROM ABOUT
3.5 INCHES ABOVE NORMAL TO 3.5 INCHES BELOW NORMAL DEPENDING ON LOCATION.
THE SURPLUS REGIONS WERE FOUND IN THE FAR UPPER HEADWATERS OF THE SUSQUEHANNA
BASIN...WHILE THE DEFICIT AREAS WERE IN THE CHEMUNG... FINGER LAKES
AND UPPER DELAWARE.

.SNOW COVER AND WATER EQUIVALENT...BELOW AVERAGE. AS OF JANUARY 20TH...
SNOW COVER RANGES FROM APPROXIMATELY 1 TO 7 INCHES ACROSS CENTRAL
NY AND NORTHEAST PA...WITH LOWEST AMOUNTS RECORDED ACROSS NORTHEASTERN
PA AND HIGHEST NEAR THE LAKE ONTARIO SNOW BELT REGION IN NY. THESE VALUES
ARE BELOW NORMAL FOR JANUARY. THE WATER EQUIVALENT OF THE SNOW PACK
WAS GENERALLY LESS THAN AN INCH.

.RIVER ICE COVER...NORMAL. AS OF JANUARY 21ST...RIVER ICE COVER
AND THICKNESS WAS ABOUT ABOUT AVERAGE FOR MID JANUARY. MANY STREAM
GAUGES WERE EXPERIENCING EFFECTS FROM RIVER ICE AND OBSERVER REPORTS
INDIATE THAT MANY RIVERS HAVE SUBSTANTIAL ICE COVER...INCLUDING SEVERAL
WITH AREAS THAT ARE COMPLETELY FROZEN FROM SHORE TO SHORE. KNOWN ICE
JAMS HAVE BEEN REPORTED ON THE CHENANGO RIVER NEAR CHENANGO BRIDGE...AND
ALSO ALONG SEVERAL MILES OF THE SUSQUEHANNA RIVER UPSTREAM FROM WILKES-
BARRE. THESE FREEZE UP JAMS APPEAR TO BE STABLE WITH NO IMMINENT THREAT
OF FLOODING. THERE ARE ALSO REPORTS WHERE CHANNELS ARE MORE THAN 50
PERCENT OPEN.

.STREAMFLOW AND SOIL CONDITIONS...NORMAL. ACCORDING TO THE USGS...AVERAGE
MONTHLY STREAMFLOW TO DATE AT GAUGES WITHIN THE SERVICE AREA WAS NEAR
NORMAL. THE PALMER DROUGHT INDEX SUGGESTS THAT LONG TERM REGIONAL SOIL
MOISTURE WAS GENERALLY NORMAL ACROSS THE REGION...WITH SOME INDICATION
OF ABNORMALLY HIGH MOISTURE STILL IN THE FINGER LAKES REGION. THE FROST
DEPTH RECORDED AT THE NWS OFFICE IN BINGHAMTON EXTENDED 14.5 INCHES
BELOW GROUND.

.RESERVOIR AND LAKE LEVELS...NEAR TO BELOW NORMAL. IN GENERAL...THE
FINGER LAKES...ARMY CORPS FLOOD CONTROL RESERVOIRS IN THE SUSQUEHANNA
BASIN...AND LAKE WALLENPAUPACK WERE NEAR TO SLIGHTLY ABOVE TARGET LEVELS
FOR JANUARY. THE NYC DELAWARE BASIN WATER SUPPLY STORAGE WAS CURRENTLY
BELOW THE LONG TERM MEDIAN POOL LEVEL.

...FORECAST OUTLOOK...

.FUTURE WEATHER CONDITIONS - THE 6 TO 14 DAY OUTLOOK CALLS FOR COLDER THAN
AVERAGE TEMPERATURES AND NEAR NORMAL PRECIPITATION. THIS WILL LIKELY
PROMOTE THE CONTINUED GROWTH OF RIVER AND LAKE ICE WITH SOME ADDITION TO
THE EXISTING SNOW COVER LIKELY. SEVERAL POTENTIAL MAJOR COASTAL STORMS
DEVELOP DURING THIS PERIOD...BUT CURRENTLY LOOK TO REMAIN SOUTH OF THE
AREA...PROVIDING ONLY MINOR ACCUMULATIONS OF NEW SNOW. THERE IS POTENTIAL
FOR A MORE SUBSTANTIAL STORM ARRIVING NEAR THE END OF THIS OUTLOOK.

.LONG RANGE RIVER MODELING AND PROBABILITY FORECASTS - MULTI-MODEL ENSEMBLE
FORECASTS DO NOT SUGGEST ANY FLOODING IN THE SERVICE AREA FOR THE NEXT
TWO WEEKS. PROBABILITY GUIDANCE FROM THE ADVANCED HYDROLOGIC PREDICTION
SERVICE SUGGESTS BELOW NORMAL CHANCES OF FLOODING WHEN COMPARED TO WHAT
HAS HAPPENED IN THE PAST DURING THIS TIME OF YEAR.

...IN CONCLUSION...
THE OUTLOOK ESTIMATES THE POTENTIAL FOR RIVER AND LAKE FLOODING BASED ON A
CURRENT ASSESSMENT OF GENERALIZED 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 5TH, 2015. IF CONDITIONS CHANGE IN THE INTERIM...FLOOD
WATCHES... WARNINGS OR ADVISORIES WILL BE ISSUED AS NECESSARY.

$$

DGM/JAB








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