Flood Potential Outlook
Issued by NWS Buffalo, NY

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Winter/Spring Flood Potential Outlook
National Weather Service Buffalo NY
656 AM EST Thu Feb 16 2017

...NEAR NORMAL FLOOD RISK EXCEPT ABOVE NORMAL FLOOD RISK FOR THE
BLACK RIVER BASIN THROUGH MARCH 2ND...

This is the fourth flood potential outlook of the 2017 season.
Flood outlooks will be issued every two weeks into early spring to
summarize basin conditions and to assess the potential for
flooding. The outlooks are based on current and forecast
hydrometeorological conditions. This includes snow cover and
water equivalent, creek and river levels and the amount of ice on
them, along with the expected conditions during the next two
weeks.

...CURRENT CONDITIONS SUMMARY...

Several storms added to the snow pack across the Black River basin
which is now running well above normal for this time of year. Snow
is over 4 feet deep across portions of the Tug Hill and into the
Adirondacks. Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) values vary, with 1 to 3
inches across lower elevations ranging to around 15 inches at
Sears Pond. These values average about 150% of normal for this
time of year.

Elsewhere, there is less snow due to frequent warm ups which have
prevented the snow pack to become established. SWE for the
Buffalo Creeks, Genesee River, and Allegheny River basins
generally averages less than an inch with isolated higher amounts.
This is below normal for this time of year. In addition, there is
little to no ice on the creeks which lowers the risk for ice
jams.

The following is a summary of the conditions by basin as of
Thursday morning, February 16th:

...BUFFALO AREA CREEKS / LAKE ERIE BASIN...
.SNOW COVER..........1 to 6 inches.
.WATER EQUIVALENT....Mainly an inch or less.
.CREEK FLOWS.........Near normal.
.CREEK ICE...........Some shore ice and slush.
.GROUND FROST........3 to 6 inches.
.GROUND STATE........Frozen.

...GENESEE RIVER BASIN / FINGER LAKES / ROCHESTER AREA...
.SNOW COVER..........Less than 3 inches.
.WATER EQUIVALENT....Less than an inch.
.RIVER/CREEK FLOWS...Above normal.
.RIVER/CREEK ICE.....Some shore ice and slush.
.GROUND FROST........3 to 6 inches.
.GROUND STATE........Frozen.

...ALLEGHENY RIVER BASIN...
.SNOW COVER..........3 to 8 inches.
.WATER EQUIVALENT....0.5 to 1.5 inches.
.RIVER/CREEK FLOWS...Above normal.
.RIVER CREEK ICE.....Patchy ice.
.GROUND FROST........3 to 6 inches.
.GROUND STATE........Frozen.

...BLACK RIVER BASINS / TUG HILL...
.SNOW COVER..........1 to 2 feet, with 2 to 5 feet on the Tug Hill.
.WATER EQUIVALENT....1 to 3 inches, with 6 to 15 inches on the Tug
Hill.
.RIVER/CREEK FLOWS...Near normal.
.RIVER/CREEK ICE.....Frozen.
.GROUND FROST........6 to 12 inches.
.GROUND STATE........Frozen.

...TEMPERATURE AND PRECIPITATION OUTLOOK...

Temperatures are expected to be above normal during the outlook
period. Through the middle of next week, a generally dry pattern
is expected with significant precipitation not expected during
this time. The warm pattern is likely to continue toward the end
of February, with a potentially wetter pattern also developing.
The 8 to 14 day forecast is for above normal temperatures and
above normal precipitation.

There is above average forecast confidence in the general pattern
with above normal temperatures shown by the vast majority of
guidance and supported by the pattern. Although the pattern is
likely to become wetter late in the month, the specifics of any
system which may develop is uncertain.

...FLOOD POTENTIAL OUTLOOK...

The flood risk is near normal in most areas, except above normal
in the Black River Basin.

For the Buffalo Creeks, Genesee River, and Allegheny River basins
there is little snow pack in place. What snow pack is there is likely
to melt during the next week when temperatures are warm but there
will be little precipitation. After this, flows are likely to be
high but the lack of snow pack offsets the potential for above
normal precipitation. Based on this, the flood risk for these
basins is near normal.

The Black River basin is a different story, with a much above normal
snow pack in place. This is likely to ripen a bit during the stretch
of warm temperatures this coming week. This will leave the basin at
risk for flooding if a system brings a significant amount of
rain/and or warm temperatures.

...ADDITIONAL INFORMATION...

Real time river information and probabilistic forecast for
specific locations along rivers across Western New York can be
found on the internet at www.weather.gov/buf. Since conditions can
change, please refer to the latest flood watches, warnings, and
statements for additional information.

Thank you to all the observers and agencies which have helped
gather data in support of this outlook. The next Winter/Spring
Flood Outlook will be issued on March 2nd.

$$

Apffel



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