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Hydrology is the study of water,
including rivers, creeks, and lakes. Precipitation, both rain and
snow, plays the major role. As a forecast office, we constantly
monitor the hydrological conditions in our area, and have the
responsibility of issuing timely warnings to protect life and property
from flooding of all types. We also cooperate with other agencies
such as the Corps of Engineers, Department of Environmental
Conservation, and various public utilities in regards to water levels,
both existing and projected. In addition , we maintain contact
with all county Emergency Managers, the agricultural community for
drought problems, and coordinate with nearby weather offices regarding
conditions, which affect adjoining areas.
The Buffalo Hydrologic Service Area
encompasses over 13,000 square miles and includes all of the Great Lakes
drainage area of New York State as well as a small portion of the upper
Allegheny River Basin in the Ohio/Mississippi Drainage area. There are
four distinct drainage basins in our Service area. The Black River Basin
east of Lake Ontario...The Genesee River Basin...The Allegheny River
Basin...and The Buffalo Area Creeks/Lake Erie Basins. In addition, we
are responsible for any flooding which may occur on smaller creeks
outside of these basins such as the Oswego River and the outlets on the
northern Finger Lakes.
The Buffalo HSA includes
two major metropolitan areas...The Buffalo area which covers most of
Erie and Niagara Counties with a population of 1.2 million...and the
Rochester area which includes all of Monroe County and portions of
several other counties with a population of about 1 million. There are
several other sizeable population centers such as Jamestown, Olean, and
Watertown, with populations between 20,000 and 50,000...but most of the
rest of the area is rural.
if you have comments or questions about our Hydrology Program.