Flood Potential Outlook
Issued by NWS Cleveland, OH

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FGUS71 KCLE 291539

Winter/Spring Flood Potential Outlook
National Weather Service CLEVELAND OH
1139 AM EDT Thu Mar 29 2018


This is the sixth winter flood potential outlook of the winter
season. Flood outlooks are issued every two weeks in the winter
and spring to highlight any risks for significant flooding. The
outlooks are based on the basin and forecast conditions. This
includes snow cover and water equivalent, creek and river levels
and their extent of ice coverage, along with the expected
conditions during the next two weeks.

Based on current conditions and weather forecasts for the next
two weeks, the risk of flooding is above normal. The primary
factors favoring an above normal flood risk is the recent rain
and wet ground conditions combined with an active and wet weather
pattern projected for the next few weeks over the Ohio Valley and
Great Lakes region.

The antecedent conditions that contribute to flood risk are
stored water in the snowpack, extent of river ice, ground
conditions, and status of area streamflows. At the time of this
issuance, area rivers and creeks were running near normal, however
an ongoing rain event is expected to raise stream levels. The
area snowpack has diminished to all but a few spots in the higher
terrain of northwest Pennsylvania. Ice was not present on the
rivers or the mouths of the rivers on Lake Erie. Reservoir and
ground water levels are near to slightly above normal.

Soils were saturated with standing water, indicative of the mud
season. Soil temperatures 4 inches deep ranged from 40-45F, to 35F
where snow was present. The ground conditions will be primed for
runoff with little absorption. Even a marginal rain event of 1.5
inches could produce flooding given the ground conditions.

The weather pattern over the next few weeks will favor below
normal temperatures and above normal rainfall. The 8-10 day and
two week outlooks suggest a continuation of an upper level trough
over the Great Lakes and northeast U.S.. The southern jet
meanwhile will favor storms migrating from the Gulf of Mexico and
into the Ohio Valley. This pattern will make the region
vulnerable for frequent rain events. As the calendar moves into
April, these storm systems become more convective with severe
storms and potential for heavy rainfall.

Antecedent ground conditions favor a heightened risk of flooding
as we approach a wetter than normal pattern through mid April.
For this reason, there is an above normal risk of flooding. This
will be the final spring flood outlook as we leave the behind the
cold season and potential for stored water in a snowpack.

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


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