Flood Potential Outlook
Issued by NWS Caribou, ME

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WINTER/SPRING FLOOD POTENTIAL OUTLOOK
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CARIBOU ME
419 AM EST Fri Jan 20 2017

...WINTER/SPRING FLOOD POTENTIAL OUTLOOK FOR NORTHERN...
CENTRAL...AND DOWNEAST MAINE...

THIS IS THE SECOND WINTER/SPRING FLOOD POTENTIAL OUTLOOK FOR
2017, ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN CARIBOU, MAINE.
THIS OUTLOOK IS FOR NORTHERN, CENTRAL, AND DOWNEAST MAINE FOR THE
TWO- WEEK PERIOD FROM JANUARY 19 TO FEBRUARY 2, 2017.

THE WINTER/SPRING POTENTIAL FOR BOTH OPEN WATER FLOODING AND
FLOODING DUE TO ICE JAMS IS NEAR NORMAL ACROSS OUR ENTIRE FORECAST
AREA.

...CLIMATOLOGICAL GUIDANCE...

AFTER A COLD AND SNOWY DECEMBER, JANUARY HAS BEEN VERY MILD OVERALL,
WITH BELOW NORMAL PRECIPITATION AND SNOWFALL. AS OF JANUARY 19,
MANY LOCATIONS ARE REPORTING MONTHLY AVERAGE TEMPERATURES THAT ARE 3
TO 5 DEGREES WARMER THAN NORMAL. MEANWHILE, SNOWFALL FOR THE MONTH
IS MORE THAN 3 INCHES BELOW NORMAL IN CARIBOU AND 7 INCHES BELOW
NORMAL IN BANGOR.

THIS WARM TREND IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE OVER THE NEXT WEEK TO 10
DAYS, ALONG WITH THE POTENTIAL FOR ACTIVE WEATHER. FORECAST MODEL
GUIDANCE HAS BEEN SHOWING A POTENTIALLY SIGNIFICANT STORM FOR THE
MIDDLE OF NEXT WEEK. THIS SYSTEM LOOKS TO BE A MESSY ONE OF MIXED
PRECIPITATION, THOUGH FAR NORTHERN MAINE COULD SEE MOSTLY SNOW. AT
THIS TIME, DOWNEAST MAINE AND THE BANGOR REGION HAVE THE BEST
CHANCES OF CHANGING OVER TO ALL RAIN. OVERALL PRECIPITATION TOTALS
WILL BE IN THE ONE TO TWO INCH RANGE, WITH MUCH OF THAT TO FALL AS
RAIN ALONG THE COAST AND PORTIONS OF INTERIOR DOWNEAST. FURTHER
NORTH, PRECIPITATION WILL MAINLY OCCUR IN FROZEN FORM.

BEYOND THIS UPCOMING SYSTEM, A ROUND OR TWO OF SNOW OR RAIN
SHOWERS IS POSSIBLE, WITH HINTS OF ANOTHER STRONGER SYSTEM AT THE
END OF NEXT WEEK. TEMPERATURES LOOK TO RETURN TO CLOSER TO NORMAL
THEREAFTER.

THE OFFICIAL 6 TO 10 DAY FORECAST FOR JANUARY 25 THROUGH 29
SUPPORTS THE ABOVE THINKING, AS IT IS CALLING FOR MUCH WARMER THAN
NORMAL TEMPERATURES AND WETTER THAN NORMAL CONDITIONS. THE 8 TO 14
DAY OUTLOOK HEADING INTO EARLY FEBRUARY STILL SHOWS HINTS OF
SLIGHTLY WARMER THAN NORMAL TEMPERATURES WITH LESS PRECIPITATION
THAN NORMAL.

...OBSERVED SNOW DEPTH AND WATER EQUIVALENTS...

THE SNOWPACK ACROSS NORTHERN AND EASTERN MAINE TOOK A FAIRLY
SIGNIFICANT HIT DUE TO THE RELATIVELY WARM AND LESS-SNOWY WEATHER
OVER THE PAST TWO WEEKS.

MANY LOCATIONS ACROSS THE NORTH AND WEST LOST 6 TO 12 INCHES OF
SNOW. AREAS ALONG AND NORTH OF A DANFORTH TO DOVER-FOXCROFT LINE
ARE NOW BLANKETED WITH 12 TO 22 INCHES OF SNOW, WITH UPWARDS OF
30 INCHES STILL BEING REPORTED IN THE HIGHER TERRAIN. THIS IS
ABOUT NORMAL FOR MID JANUARY, GIVE OR TAKE HALF A FOOT OR SO.
INTERIOR DOWNEAST, INCLUDING THE BANGOR REGION, HAS 2 TO 8 INCHES,
WITH LITTLE TO NO SNOW COVER ALONG THE COAST. THIS IS BELOW NORMAL
FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR.

THE SNOW WATER EQUIVALENT, OR THE AMOUNT OF WATER CONTAINED IN
THE SNOWPACK, HAS ALSO DECREASED. THE NORTH WOODS, CENTRAL
HIGHLANDS, AND MUCH OF AROOSTOOK AND NORTHERN WASHINGTON COUNTY NOW
HAVE 4 TO 7 INCHES OF WATER IN THE PACK, WITH AROUND 8 INCHES IN
THE HIGHER ELEVATIONS. THIS DECREASES TO 2 TO 4 INCHES AS ONE
HEADS INTO THE REGIONS SURROUNDING BANGOR OR INTERIOR DOWNEAST. OF
COURSE, THE COAST HAS VERY LITTLE WATER AVAILABLE GIVEN A SNOWPACK
OF ONLY AN INCH OR TWO AT MOST.

...SOIL MOISTURE AND WATER SUPPLY CONDITIONS...

THE WARMER WEATHER HAS ALLOWED THE SOIL TO MOISTEN UP OVER THE
PAST SEVERAL DAYS OWING TO SNOW MELT AND SOME LIQUID PRECIPITATION.
GROUNDWATER WELLS, COURTESY OF THE USGS, ARE MOSTLY REPORTING
VALUES IN THE NEAR TO WETTER THAN NORMAL RANGE. THE EXCEPTION
LIES IN THE CENTRAL HIGHLANDS WHERE THE MILLINOCKET WELL IS STILL
MUCH BELOW NORMAL.

THE RECENT SNOWMELT AND RAINFALL HAS TAKEN A DENT OUT OF THE
LONG-TERM DROUGHT AS WELL, AS EVIDENCED IN THE LATEST PALMER
DROUGHT SEVERITY INDEX. THIS IS AN INDICATOR OF LONG-TERM SOIL
MOISTURE STATES AND ITS LATEST ISSUANCE ON JANUARY 14 SHOWS NEAR
NORMAL CONDITIONS ACROSS ALL OF MAINE.

...RIVER AND ICE CONDITIONS...

RIVER FLOWS SHOWED SOME DECENT RISES WITH THE RECENT SNOWMELT AND
RAINFALL RUNOFF BUT THEY HAVE SINCE RECEDED AND NOW LIE NEAR
NORMAL TO A BIT ABOVE NORMAL. IT IS EXPECTED THAT FLOWS WILL
CONTINUE TO FALL OR AT LEAST LEVEL OFF THROUGH THE WEEKEND WITH
LITTLE LIQUID PRECIPITATION OR SNOWMELT TO OCCUR. ADDITIONAL
RISES ARE POSSIBLE NEXT WEEK THOUGH, ESPECIALLY IN THOSE AREAS
THAT SEE SIGNIFICANT RAINFALL.

RIVER ICE REMAINS FIRMLY IN PLACE ON THE WATERWAYS OF THE
AROOSTOOK AND SAINT JOHN BASINS. MUCH OF THE SNOW THAT LAY ON TOP
OF THE ICE BECAME VERY SLUSHY OR MELTED ALTOGETHER DURING THE
WARMER SPELLS, BUT IT HAS NOW REFROZEN AND IS LIKELY QUITE SOLID.
THE ICE IS STILL LIKELY CLOSE TO NORMAL THICKNESS FOR THIS TIME
OF YEAR.

FURTHER SOUTH, RIVER ICE IS LIKELY NEAR TO A BIT BELOW NORMAL IN
THICKNESS AND STRENGTH. SOME ICE MOVEMENT WAS NOTED ON THE
PISCATAQUIS RIVER AND SOME OF ITS BASINS AFTER LAST WEEK`S RAIN
AND MILD TEMPERATURES, WITH LESSER INDICATIONS ON THE PENOBSCOT
RIVER.

...IN CONCLUSION...

BASED ON THE ABOVE INFORMATION, THE WINTER/SPRING FLOOD POTENTIAL
IS NEAR NORMAL ACROSS ALL OF NORTHERN, CENTRAL, AND DOWNEAST
MAINE. THE SNOWPACK IS GENERALLY AROUND NORMAL, WITH DOWNEAST
AREAS BELOW NORMAL. RIVERS FLOWS ARE NEAR TO ABOVE NORMAL BUT ARE
EXPECTED TO CONTINUE TO FALL OR REMAIN STEADY THROUGH THE WEEKEND.
SOIL MOISTURE IS NEAR TO ABOVE NORMAL AS WELL, WITH THE WETTEST
CONDITIONS DOWNEAST. IT IS THESE DOWNEAST AREAS THAT HAVE THE BEST
CHANCES OF SEEING SIGNIFICANT RAIN AMOUNTS NEXT WEEK, BUT THERE IS
LITTLE SNOW AVAILABLE FOR MELT ACROSS MUCH OF THIS REGION.
MEANWHILE, NORTHERN AREAS THAT HAVE MORE SNOW ON THE GROUND ARE
EXPECTED TO SEE MAINLY FROZEN PRECIPITATION. ANY RAIN THAT DOES
FALL WILL EASILY BE ABSORBED BY THE DEEPER SNOWPACK. OVERALL,
THESE PARAMETERS ALL AVERAGE OUT TO A NEAR NORMAL THREAT FOR OPEN
WATER FLOODING ACROSS THE ENTIRE REGION.

THE POTENTIAL FOR FLOODING DUE TO ICE JAMS IS ALSO NEAR NORMAL.
RIVER ICE ACROSS THE NORTH IS LIKELY STILL CLOSE TO NORMAL IN
THICKNESS AND STRENGTH. ANY RUNOFF THAT OCCURS WITH NEXT WEEK`S
STORM WILL BE VERY LIMITED, SO LITTLE TO NO ICE MOVEMENT IS
Anticipated. FURTHER SOUTH, THE POTENTIAL FOR RISES DUE TO
RAINFALL AND SNOWMELT IS HIGHER, PARTICULARLY IN THE PISCATAQUIS
BASIN. WHILE MINOR ICE MOVEMENT IS POSSIBLE ALONG THESE WATERWAYS,
THE RISES ARE NOT EXPECTED TO BE ENOUGH TO CAUSE SIGNIFICANT
MOVEMENT OR ICE BREAK UP. THEREFORE, A NEAR NORMAL THREAT FOR ICE
JAM FLOODING SEEMS REASONABLE.

IT IS IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THAT VERY HEAVY RAINFALL CAN BRING
FLOODING AT ANY TIME OF THE YEAR, EVEN IN AREAS THAT DON`T HAVE A
SIGNIFICANT SNOWPACK.

THE NEXT WINTER/SPRING FLOOD POTENTIAL OUTLOOK WILL BE ISSUED BY
NWS CARIBOU ON THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 2017.

$$

HASTINGS



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