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Hydrologic Outlook
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000
FGUS71 KBUF 052109
ESFBUF
NYC003-009-011-013-029-037-045-049-051-055-063-069-073-075-117-
121-192115-

WINTER/SPRING FLOOD POTENTIAL OUTLOOK
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BUFFALO NY
409 PM EST THU FEB 5 2015

...BELOW NORMAL FLOOD RISK THROUGH FEBRUARY 19TH...

THIS IS THE THIRD WINTER / SPRING FLOOD POTENTIAL OUTLOOK OF THE 2015
SEASON. FLOOD OUTLOOKS WILL BE ISSUED EVERY TWO WEEKS INTO EARLY
SPRING TO SUMMARIZE BASIN HYDROMETEOROLOGICAL 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 COVER ON THEM...ALONG WITH THE EXPECTED PRECIPITATION
OVER THE NEXT TWO WEEKS.

...CURRENT CONDITIONS SUMMARY...
THE REGION HAS REMAINED IN A DEEP FREEZE FOR MOST OF JANUARY...WITH
BELOW NORMAL TEMPERATURES SINCE A WARM UP IN EARLY JANUARY. THIS
SUBSTANTIALLY ADDED TO SNOW PACK IN ALL BASINS. THERE HAS
DEFINITELY NOT BEEN A JANUARY THAW THIS YEAR.

WATER EQUIVALENT VALUES ARE NEAR TO ABOVE NORMAL. SEVERAL ROUNDS
OF SNOW AND THE PERSISTENT COLD WEATHER HAS CAUSED WATER
EQUIVALENT VALUES TO RISE ABOVE NORMAL IN THE BUFFALO
CREEKS AND THE GENESEE AND ALLEGHENY RIVER BASINS. FOR THESE
BASINS WATER EQUIVALENT VALUES ARE 125 TO 150 PERCENT OF THE
NORMAL VALUE. THE BLACK RIVER BASIN IS NEAR TO SLIGHTLY ABOVE
NORMAL. IT IS ALSO WORTH NOTING THAT WITH THE PERSISTENT COLD
WEATHER THE SNOW PACK IS MUCH LESS DENSE THEN NORMAL. IT WOULD
TAKE A SIGNIFICANT WARM UP TO RIPEN THIS SNOW PACK.

MEANWHILE...THE COLD TEMPERATURES HAVE CAUSED CREEK AND RIVER ICE
TO INCREASE SIGNIFICANTLY DURING THIS TIME. ICE THICKNESS EXCEEDS
6 INCHES ON MOST SLOW FLOWING WATERWAYS...WITH OVER A FOOT IN MANY
AREAS. 

THE FOLLOWING IS A SUMMARY OF CONDITIONS AND OUTLOOK BY BASIN AS
OF THURSDAY MORNING ON FEBRUARY 5TH:

...BUFFALO AREA CREEKS / LAKE ERIE BASIN...
.SNOW COVER..........18 TO 24 INCHES.
.WATER EQUIVALENT....3 TO 5 INCHES.
.CREEK FLOWS.........NEAR NORMAL.
.CREEK ICE...........MODERATE TO THICK
.GROUND FROST........ABOUT 12 INCHES.
.GROUND STATE........FROZEN.

...GENESEE RIVER BASIN / FINGER LAKES / ROCHESTER AREA...
.SNOW COVER..........12 TO 18 INCHES.
.WATER EQUIVALENT....1 TO 2 INCHES.
.RIVER/CREEK FLOWS...NEAR NORMAL.
.RIVER/CREEK ICE.....MODERATE.
.GROUND FROST........ABOUT 12 INCHES.
.GROUND STATE........FROZEN.

...ALLEGHENY RIVER BASIN...
.SNOW COVER..........18 TO 24 INCHES.
.WATER EQUIVALENT....2 TO 4 INCHES.
.RIVER/CREEK FLOWS...NEAR NORMAL.
.RIVER CREEK ICE.....MODERATE TO THICK.
.GROUND FROST........ABOUT 12 INCHES.
.GROUND STATE........FROZEN.

...BLACK RIVER BASINS / TUG HILL...
.SNOW COVER..........20 TO 30 INCHES.
.WATER EQUIVALENT....3 TO 5 INCHES...4 TO 8 INCHES ON THE TUG HILL.
.RIVER/CREEK FLOWS...NEAR NORMAL.
.RIVER/CREEK ICE.....THICK.
.GROUND FROST........18 TO 24 INCHES.
.GROUND STATE........FROZEN.

...TEMPERATURE AND PRECIPITATION OUTLOOK...
IT APPEARS THE COLD PATTERN WILL CONTINUE WELL INTO FEBRUARY WITH MODEL
GUIDANCE THROUGH THE NEXT 10 DAYS CONSISTENTLY MAINTAINING A STRONG
UPPER LEVEL RIDGE IN THE WESTERN U.S. WITH A TROUGH ACROSS THE
EASTERN STATES. THE 8 TO 14 OUTLOOK ALSO FORECASTS BELOW NORMAL TEMPERATURES.

MODEL CONSENSUS CONTINUES TO KEEP OUR REGION JUST WEST OF THE
MEAN TROUGH AXIS POSITION FOR THE MAJORITY OF THE TWO- WEEK
PERIOD. THIS PATTERN TYPICALLY WOULD RESULT IN COLD TEMPERATURES
ACROSS THE REGION...WITH FREQUENT CHANCES FOR SNOW. ANOTHER ROUND
OF SNOW AND COLD TEMPERATURES IS LIKELY THIS WEEKEND...WHICH
SHOULD ADD TO EXISTING SNOW PACK. GIVEN THE TIME OF YEAR AND MODEL
AGREEMENT...THERE IS ABOVE AVERAGE FORECAST CONFIDENCE.

SINCE FORECAST CONFIDENCE TENDS TO DIMINISH WITH TIME...THERE IS A 
SMALL CHANCE A PATTERN SHIFT WILL OCCUR MID-FEBRUARY. THIS WOULD
LEAVE A VERY SMALL CHANCE FOR A WARMER TRACKING SYSTEM...BUT BY
FAR THE MOST LIKELY SCENARIO IS THAT THE REGION WILL REMAIN IN
COLD PATTEN THROUGHOUT THE PERIOD.

...FLOOD POTENTIAL OUTLOOK...
THERE IS BELOW NORMAL FLOOD RISK FOR THE NEXT TWO WEEKS THROUGH
FEBRUARY 19TH. CURRENT SNOWPACK AND ICE IS ABOVE NORMAL...BUT
EVEN SO THE PATTERN IS LIKELY TO STAY COLD WHICH LEAVES LITTLE
CHANCE FOR A WARM ENOUGH SYSTEM TO MELT THE SNOW PACK.
TEMPERATURES ARE LIKELY TO REMAIN BELOW FREEZING FOR THE VAST
MAJORITY OF THE PERIOD...WITH MOST PRECIPITATION EXPECTED TO FALL
AS SNOW. HOWEVER IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT ALTHOUGH THE PATTERN
IS NOT FAVORABLE FOR A HEAVY RAIN EVENT...THERE IS A VERY SMALL
CHANCE THAT ONE SYSTEM WILL TAKE A WARM TRACK DURING THE LATTER
PORTION OF THE TIME PERIOD.

THIS PATTERN IS ALSO LIKELY TO INCREASE THE SNOW PACK AND SNOW
WATER EQUIVALENT VALUES. WHILE THIS DOES NOT POSE AN IMMEDIATE THREAT AS
LONG AS IT REMAINS COLD...IT DOES BEAR WATCHING LATE FEBRUARY AND
INTO MARCH SINCE WE ARE LIKELY TO GO INTO THAT TIME PERIOD WITH AN
ABOVE NORMAL SNOW PACK.

...ADDITIONAL INFORMATION...

REAL TIME RIVER INFORMATION AND PROBABILISTIC FORECASTS FOR
SPECIFIC LOCATIONS ALONG RIVERS ACROSS WESTERN NEW YORK CAN BE
FOUND ON THE INTERNET AT WWW.WEATHER.GOV/BUF BY CLICKING ON THE
RIVERS AND LAKES AHPS LINK ON THE LEFT SIDE OF THE PAGE. SINCE
CONDITIONS CAN CHANGE PLEASE REFER TO THE LATEST FLOOD
WARNINGS...WATCHES...AND STATEMENTS FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION.

THE NEXT OUTLOOK WILL BE ISSUED ON FEBRUARY 19TH. THANKS TO ALL THE
OBSERVERS AND AGENCIES WHICH HAVE HELPED GATHER DATA IN SUPPORT OF
THIS OUTLOOK.

$$

APFFEL





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