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Buffalo New York

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Hydrologic Products


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River Flood Warning   Flash Flood Warning   Flood Watch   River Flood Statement   Flash Flood Statement


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.

Area Description

The Buffalo Hydrologic Service Area (HSA) 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.

Buffalo HSA Basin Map

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General Responsibilities   Geography/Topography   Types of Flooding   Forecast Points   Observational Data    


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Average Annual Precipitation Map


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National Weather Service
Weather Forecast Office Buffalo
587 Aero Drive
Buffalo, N.Y. 14225-1405
(716)565-0204 or (716)565-0802

Page last modified: January 7, 2010
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