Skip Navigation Linkswww.nws.noaa.gov 
NOAA logo - Click to go to the NOAA homepage National Weather Service Forecast Office   NWS logo - Click to go to the NWS homepage
Buffalo, NY banner image
 
 

Hydrologic Outlook
Latest Versions  [Current][-1][-2][-3]



000
FGUS71 KBUF 201840
ESFBUF
NYC003-009-011-013-029-037-045-049-051-055-063-069-073-075-117-
121-031845-

WINTER/SPRING FLOOD POTENTIAL OUTLOOK
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BUFFALO NY
240 PM EDT THU MAR 20 2014

...BELOW NORMAL FLOOD RISK THROUGH MARCH 27TH...
...ABOVE NORMAL FLOOD RISK FOR THE BLACK RIVER BASIN LATE MARCH INTO 
   EARLY APRIL...

THIS IS THE SIXTH WINTER / SPRING FLOOD POTENTIAL OUTLOOK OF THE 
2014 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 SNOW 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...
TEMPERATURES HAVE REMAINED BELOW NORMAL DURING THE FIRST HALF OF 
MARCH...HOWEVER EVEN SO...SNOW PACK HAS MELTED GRADUALLY IN THE
BUFFALO CREEKS AND GENESEE AND ALLEGHENY BASINS. THIS HAS LEFT
AROUND AN INCH OF WATER EQUIVALENT SNOW PACK...GENERALLY CONFINED
TO HIGHER TERRAIN. THERE ARE STILL A FEW ICE JAMS IN PLACE ON THE
BUFFALO CREEKS...AND ICE IN LAKE ERIE MAY LIMIT FLOWS INTO THE
LAKE.

IT IS A DIFFERENT STORY IN THE BLACK RIVER BASIN...WHERE 
TEMPERATURES HAVE BEEN A BIT COLDER. THIS REGION ALSO RECEIVED A 
MAJOR SNOWSTORM ON MARCH 12TH...WHICH DROPPED ONE TO TWO FEET OF 
SNOW AND ADDED TO AN ALREADY THICK SNOW PACK. WATER EQUIVALENT
VALUES ARE RUNNING ABOUT 50 PERCENT ABOVE NORMAL ON THE TUG
HILL...AND NEARLY DOUBLE THE NORMAL VALUES ACROSS LOWER ELEVATIONS
IN THE BASIN.

THE FOLLOWING IS A SUMMARY OF CONDITIONS AND OUTLOOK BY BASIN AS
OF THURSDAY MORNING ON MARCH 20TH:

...BUFFALO AREA CREEKS / LAKE ERIE BASIN...
.SNOW COVER..........2 TO 4 INCHES IN THE HEADWATERS.
.WATER EQUIVALENT....AROUND AN INCH IN THE HEADWATERS.
.CREEK FLOWS.........ABOVE NORMAL.
.CREEK ICE...........LITTLE...A FEW ICE JAMS IN PLACE.
.GROUND FROST........AROUND 18 INCHES...TOP 3 INCHES THAWED.
.GROUND STATE........FROZEN.

...GENESEE RIVER BASIN / FINGER LAKES / ROCHESTER AREA...
.SNOW COVER..........LESS THAN 2 INCHES.
.WATER EQUIVALENT....LESS THAN AN INCH.
.RIVER/CREEK FLOWS...NEAR NORMAL.
.RIVER/CREEK ICE.....PATCHY ICE.
.GROUND FROST........AROUND 18 INCHES...TOP 3 INCHES THAWED.
.GROUND STATE........FROZEN.

...ALLEGHENY RIVER BASIN...
.SNOW COVER..........1 TO 3 INCHES ACROSS HIGHER TERRAIN.
.WATER EQUIVALENT....AROUND AN INCH ACROSS HIGHER TERRAIN.
.RIVER/CREEK FLOWS...ABOVE NORMAL.
.RIVER CREEK ICE.....PATCHY ICE.
.GROUND FROST........AROUND 18 INCHES...TOP 3 INCHES THAWED.
.GROUND STATE........FROZEN.

...BLACK RIVER BASINS / TUG HILL...
.SNOW COVER..........1 TO 2 FEET...2 TO 4 FEET ON THE TUG HILL.
.WATER EQUIVALENT....4 TO 8 INCHES...8 TO 14 INCHES ON THE TUG HILL.
.RIVER/CREEK FLOWS...BELOW NORMAL.
.RIVER/CREEK ICE.....MOSTLY THICK ICE WITH A FEW OPEN AREAS.
.GROUND FROST........ABOUT 24 INCHES.
.GROUND STATE........FROZEN.

...TEMPERATURE AND PRECIPITATION OUTLOOK...
THERE IS HIGH CONFIDENCE THAT MUCH BELOW NORMAL TEMPERATURES WILL 
CONTINUE THROUGH LATE NEXT WEEK. BY THIS TIME OF YEAR...THAT WILL 
RESULT IN SOME MELTING...WHICH WILL PROBABLY FINISH OFF MUCH OF THE 
REMAINING SNOW PACK SOUTH OF LAKE ONTARIO. SLIGHTLY COLDER 
TEMPERATURES IN THE BLACK RIVER BASIN WILL LIMIT MELTING...WHICH
SHOULD MAINTAIN THE MUCH ABOVE NORMAL SNOW PACK.
MEANWHILE...LAKE EFFECT SNOWS AND A WEAK SYSTEM ON SATURDAY MAY
ADD MODESTLY TO THIS SNOW PACK ALREADY IN PLACE.

LONG RANGE GUIDANCE SUGGESTS THAT THERE MAY BE A PATTERN CHANGE LATE 
MARCH AND INTO EARLY APRIL. THE UPPER LEVEL FLOW IS LIKELY TO BECOME 
MORE FAVORABLE FOR WARMER WEATHER IN OUR REGION. THIS ALSO WOULD 
INCLUDE A POTENTIAL FOR LOW PRESSURE TO TRACK TO OUR WEST...WHICH 
COULD BRING BOTH WARM TEMPERATURES AND RAIN TO OUR REGION. IT IS 
NORMAL FOR MODEL GUIDANCE TO SHIFT FROM RUN TO RUN AT THIS
TIME FRAME...SO IT IS IMPORTANT NOT TO PUT TOO MUCH STOCK INTO ANY
ONE MODEL RUN. HOWEVER...THERE IS A CONSENSUS BUILDING THAT THE
OVERALL PATTERN WILL SHIFT. BECAUSE OF THIS...THERE IS AN
INCREASING RISK FOR WARMER TEMPERATURES AND RAIN AFTER MARCH 27TH
AND THROUGH EARLY APRIL.

...FLOOD POTENTIAL OUTLOOK...

THERE IS A BELOW NORMAL FLOOD RISK THROUGH MARCH 27TH. AFTER 
THIS...THERE IS AN ABOVE NORMAL FLOOD RISK...ESPECIALLY IN THE BLACK 
RIVER BASIN.

WITH BELOW NORMAL TEMPERATURES LIKELY TO LAST THROUGH NEXT 
WEEK...THERE IS A HIGH CONFIDENCE THAT MORE GRADUAL MELTING WILL 
OCCUR. THERE MAY BE SOME LOCALIZED ICE JAM ISSUES...MAINLY WHERE ICE 
JAMS ARE ALREADY IN PLACE OR ALONG THE LAKE ERIE SHORELINE.

THE RISK FOR FLOODING WILL INCREASE CONSIDERABLY AFTER THIS...WITH
WARMER TEMPERATURES LIKELY AND POSSIBLY SOME RAINFALL. SUCH A
PATTERN SHIFT IS FAR FROM CERTAIN AT THIS TIME FRAME...HOWEVER IF
ONE DOES OCCUR IT WOULD POSE A SIGNIFICANT THREAT FOR FLOODING IN
THE BLACK RIVER BASIN. SNOW PACK IN THE BLACK RIVER BASIN IS MUCH
ABOVE NORMAL FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR. EVEN NEAR NORMAL TEMPERATURES
WOULD RESULT IN A FAIR AMOUNT OF SNOW MELT. 

THIS PATTERN COULD ALSO BRING SOAKING RAINS. IT IS WAY TO EARLY
TO TELL IF...WHEN...AND WHERE ANY FLOODING WILL OCCUR. HOWEVER...GIVEN
THE SNOW PACK IN PLACE...AND THE LIKELY PATTERN SHIFT...THE RISK
FOR FLOODING WILL INCREASE TO ABOVE NORMAL FOR THE BLACK RIVER
BASIN.

ELSEWHERE...MOST OF THE SNOW PACK SHOULD BE MELTED BY THIS
TIME...WHICH WILL HELP MITIGATE THE FLOOD POTENTIAL. THIS
SAID...SIGNIFICANT RAINFALL CAN CAUSE FLOODING EVEN WITHOUT ANY
RUNOFF FROM SNOW MELT.

...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 MAY BE ISSUED BY ON APRIL 3RD. THANKS TO ALL THE 
OBSERVERS AND AGENCIES WHICH HAVE HELPED GATHER DATA IN SUPPORT OF 
THIS OUTLOOK.

$$

APFFEL





National Weather Service
Disclaimer Privacy Policy