Flood Potential Outlook
Issued by NWS Binghamton, NY
FGUS71 KBGM 161954
Winter/Spring Flood Potential Outlook
National Weather Service Binghamton NY
354 PM EDT Thu Mar 16 2017
...WINTER/SPRING FLOOD POTENTIAL OUTLOOK NUMBER 6...
This is the sixth 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 river flood
potential (not flash flooding) across Central New York and
Northeast Pennsylvania for the next two weeks...March 16th to
The overall risk of significant flooding for the next two weeks
varies from about average the first week, to slightly above
average after March 23rd. Temperatures are forecast to be
generally on the cold side of normal with limited precipitation
during the first week. Conditions are then expected to trend
warmer with a better chance for rain during the latter part of the
The risk for the remainder of the Spring outlook season is above
average due to the excessive snow pack and substantial snow water
equivalent currently in place.
.PRECIPITATION: Above normal. For the past two weeks,
precipitation was generally 125 to 200% of normal with the
exception of one area. Precipitation in the Chemung basin was near
normal for mid-March.
.SNOW COVER AND WATER EQUIVALENT: Much Above Normal. As of March
16th, an excessively deep snow cover existed across all basins.
Snow depths averaged 20 to 30 inches, with locally higher amounts
around 35 inches in the Susquehanna and Upper Delaware basins,
with 12 to 20 inches extending from the Chemung basin across the
Finger Lakes and Oswego basin. Snow water equivalent measurements
ranged from 2 to 4 inches over the eastern two-thirds of the
region to 1 to 2 inches in the Chemung and Finger Lakes.
.RIVER ICE COVER: Normal. As of March 16th, scattered areas of
ice had reformed on area rivers and streams. A freeze up jam had
been reported on the Susquehanna near Vestal, NY. Other ice
effects were noted at some stream gauges in the Chemung and Upper
Delaware basins. The ice is generally thin, and should not pose
much of a problem over the next two weeks.
.STREAMFLOW: Normal. Streamflow, averaged over the last 14 days,
was about average for this time in the season.
.SOILS: Per the Palmer Drought, and Crop Moisture index, as well
as other modeled soil moisture sources, the regional soils
contained about average moisture for mid-March. The ground was
.RESERVOIR AND LAKE LEVELS...Normal. The Finger Lakes, NYC
Delaware Basin Reservoir system and Lake Wallenpaupack were all
indicating generally normal pool elevations.
.FUTURE WEATHER CONDITIONS: Continued below average temperatures
and generally only light to moderate precipitation events are
expected during the first week of this outlook period. There are
no strong indications of any widespread heavy rain, or rapid
snowmelt events, for about the next week. Longer range outlooks
suggest gradual warming to near the late-March normal
temperatures. Computer models are showing a hint of a low pressure
system moving to our west, which could bring warm conditions and
rain to the region on, or about, March 24-25. Trends of this
potential system will be watched closely.
.LONG RANGE RIVER MODELING AND PROBABILITY FORECASTS: The
ensemble of river forecasts suggests almost no chance of river
flooding developing during the next week to 10 days. A
climatological analysis of flooding, using current hydrologic
conditions compared to historical flows, suggests the chance of
significant river flooding during the two week period is below
normal, but increases to a near average risk of flooding for the
rest of the season.
This 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 March 30, 2017. If conditions change in
the interim: Flood Watches, Warnings or Advisories will be issued