2015 Winter/Spring Flood Potential Outlook

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On Thursday, March 5th, the National Weather Service released a Winter/Spring Flood Potential Outlook for Eastern NY and Western New England:

WINTER/SPRING FLOOD POTENTIAL OUTLOOK
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ALBANY NY
1157 AM EST THU MAR 5 2015

...Winter Spring Flood Potential Outlook 5 for Eastern New York
and Western New England...

This is the fifth of a series of Hydrologic Outlooks issued by
the National Weather Service every two weeks...which refers to
the potential for flooding across eastern New York State...southern
Vermont...Berkshire County Massachusetts...and Litchfield County
Connecticut. The major river basins in this area are the
Hudson...the Mohawk...and the Housatonic.

This outlook is valid for the two-week period March 5 to March 19.

...Overview...

The potential for snowmelt flooding for the winter and spring of
2015 is generally near normal...since snowpack is now near to above
normal. The potential for ice jam flooding is near normal for the
next two weeks.

...Observed Snow Depths and Water Equivalents...

Snow depths between one and a half and two feet were the norm across
elevated terrain in the southern two thirds of the outlook
area...including the Catskills...the Berkshires...and the Litchfield
Hills. These locations are carrying between three and seven...locally
eight...inches of liquid equivalent.

Elsewhere...snow totals in the Adirondacks and southern Green
Mountains measured between a foot and a half and three
feet...containing 2 to 8 inches of snow water equivalent.

These totals bring us into normal to slightly above normal ranges
for this time of year.

...River Flows and Ice Conditions...

Flows in area rivers are below normal with minimal runoff due to
below normal temperatures. Most rivers and streams are ice affected.

River ice cover and thickness is above normal and with cold
temperatures remaining in place for at least the first week of the
outlook period...river ice will remain in place for at least the
next week or so.

...Soil Moisture Conditions and Water Supply...

Soil moisture continues to decline in the outlook area with the
ground frozen and no runoff ongoing. Precipitation totals for the
last 30 days are near normal up to an inch and a half below normal.

New York City water supply reservoirs are at about 74 percent of
capacity as of March 4th. This is about 13 percent below normal
for this time of year. Hudson River-Black River Regulating District
reservoirs range from about 2 feet above target at Great Sacandaga
Lake to over 5 feet below target at Stillwater Reservoir.

...Temperature and Precipitation Outlook...

The forecast for the next week calls for below normal temperatures
and precipitation. However..the official National Weather Service
8-14 day outlook for March 12th through the 18th calls for near
normal temperatures and near to slightly below normal precipitation.
This indicates a warmup from previous outlooks which featured below
to well below normal temperatures.

...Summary...

While the potential for snowmelt flooding is near normal for this
time of year...the overall weather pattern favors colder than normal
temperatures for about the first week of the outlook period. Thus
it is unlikely that we will have enough runoff to cause any
significant rises on area rivers and streams within the first week
or so of the outlook period. However...a return to near normal
temperatures appears likely by midweek next week...with highs in the
upper 30s to upper 40s.

Ice coverage is near 100 percent but with cold temperatures in the
forecast for the next week...no immediate threat for ice jams
exists. However...river ice remains in place and is setting the
stage for potential ice jam issues when temperatures begin to rise.
Any rapid runoff events and dramatic increases in flow would have
the potential to produce ice jam problems...but most likely not in
the first half of the two week outlook period. Again...the second
week of the outlook period could see warmer temperatures but not
necessarily enough to cause rapid ice breakup so monitor forecasts
at weather.gov/albany for the most up to date information.

The sixth Winter Spring Flood Outlook is scheduled for Thursday...
March 19. Extended hydrologic information will be included
in the Hazardous Weather Outlook when necessary.

It is important to remember that heavy rainfall can produce flooding
at any time of year even in areas that have a below normal potential
for flooding.

Observed and forecast river information can be found on our web
page at www.weather.gov/albany.
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Streamside Landowners Needs Assessment

Catskill creek before after

Gretchen Gary and Shorna Allred, part of the Hudson Estuary Watershed Resiliency Project at Cornell University’s Human Dimensions Research Unit (HDRU), have just released their final Needs Assessment on riparian landowners’ risk perception, attitudes, and behavior with regard to flooding and stream management. The results will be used to inform education and outreach to private landowners in the Hudson River Estuary.

The specific objectives of the Needs Assessment were to:

  1. Understand how and why streamside landowners in the study area manage their properties, especially in relation to flooding
  2. Investigate flood risk perception and personal responsibility of streamside landowners
  3. Determine the flood and stream management education needs and communication preferences of streamside landowners in the study area

The full Needs Assessment can be found on HDRU’s site here, or under Landowners & Residents in our Resources section

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Winter Weather Advisory for Northern and Mid-Hudson Valley

Winter Weather Advisory in effect from December 9, 04:00 AM EST until December 10, 12:00 AM EST

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN ALBANY HAS ISSUED A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW…SLEET…AND FREEZING RAIN…WHICH IS IN EFFECT UNTIL MIDNIGHT EST TONIGHT.

LOCATIONS: GREATER CAPITAL DISTRICT…NORTHERN PORTIONS OF THE MID HUDSON VALLEY…NORTHERN AND CENTRAL TACONICS… SARATOGA AND GLENS FALLS REGION…THE BERKSHIRES AND SOUTHERN VERMONT.

HAZARD TYPES: SNOW…SLEET…AND FREEZING RAIN.

ACCUMULATIONS: 1 TO 3 INCHES FOR VALLEY AREAS…AND 2 TO 6 INCHES ACROSS THE HIGHER TERRAIN OF THE NORTHERN TACONICS…BERKSHIRES AND SOUTHERN GREEN MOUNTAINS.

ICE ACCUMULATIONS: A TRACE TO A TENTH OF AN INCH.

TIMING: A WINTRY MIX OF SNOW…SLEET…AND FREEZING RAIN WILL SPREAD FROM SOUTH TO NORTH ACROSS THE REGION THIS MORNING. PRECIPITATION WILL CHANGE TO A PLAIN RAIN BY THIS AFTERNOON…ALTHOUGH SOME SLEET MAY CONTINUE TO MIX IN WITH THE RAIN AT TIMES THROUGH THIS EVENING.

IMPACTS: HAZARDOUS TRAVEL DUE TO SNOW AND ICE COVERED ROADS AND POOR VISIBILITIES. * WINDS…NORTH 10 TO 20 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 35 MPH.

TEMPERATURES: IN THE LOW 30S THIS MORNING RISING INTO THE MIDDLE 30S THIS AFTERNOON.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS: A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY MEANS THAT PERIODS OF SNOW…SLEET…OR FREEZING RAIN WILL CAUSE TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SLIPPERY ROADS AND LIMITED VISIBILITIES…AND USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING.

—-

**There is also a Flood Watch in effect from December 9, 06:00 AM EST until December 10, 01:00 AM EST for: 

Litchfield County, CT, Eastern Ulster County, Dutchess County

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Winter Storm Warning for Wednesday AM into Thursday AM

WinterStorm-Nov27.2014

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for heavy snow for:

  • Western New England
  • Eastern Catskills
  • Capital District (Albany)
  • Taconics
  • Mid-Hudson Valley

The Winter Storm Warning is in effect from 7 AM Wednesday morning until 10 AM Thursday morning.

Snow accumulations: 6 to 16 inches – Heaviest accumulations in the Taconics and Hudson Valley. 1 to 2 inches of snow per hour predicted. Temperatures in the upper 20s to mid 30s. Winds 5 to 10 mph with gusts of up to 20 mph.

This storm will significantly impact Thanksgiving holiday travel.  Please be careful driving to loved ones if necessary, but if possible, stay at home and off the roads!

 

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Coastal Protection – Lessons from the Netherlands

netherlands_flood_mgmt

When thinking of countries that have had to deal with flood control and water management at an extensive level, one’s mind may instantly go to the Netherlands. Today, approximately 27 percent of the country is actually below sea level. This area is home to over 60 percent of the country’s population of 15.8 million people. Dealing with floods is second nature to the Dutch, who have gone to great measures to manage the impressive force of the North Sea and the country’s rivers, including the famous Rhine, which flows into the Atlantic Ocean at the critical port city of Rotterdam.

David Berg, AICP, LEED AP and Cameron Engineering & Associates, LLP gave a presentation for New York State’s Climate Smart Communities Program on many of the management techniques the Dutch have already implemented (or plan to implement) as this low-elevation nation continues to thrive in the face of the rising threat of global climate change and sea level rise.

Here are the slides from their presentation (two parts):

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New video for Streams 101!

On Tuesday, October 2nd, the Resiliency Project hosted a seminar at its Dutchess County location entitled “Streams 101: Planning for Streamside Habitats and Flood Resilience”.  This educational presentation provided basic information on stream dynamics – how streams naturally flow on the land, how streams respond to disturbance and problems that can arise from the interaction of streams and human-built infrastructure, especially during flood events. Presenters also touched on municipal case studies and useful planning tools and resources to assist municipalities in adapting and becoming more resilient to future flood events.

Check out the video recording:

Streams 101: Planning for Streamside Habitats and Flood Resilience from Hudson Estuary Resilience on Vimeo.

For links to this and our other presentations, visit our ‘Seminars’ section under Media!

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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Signs Community Risk and Resiliency Act

govseal

Today, Monday September 22nd, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed into law the Community Risk and Resiliency Act, aimed at strengthening New York State’s preparedness for the effects of climate change and helping protect communities against severe weather and sea level rise. The Community Risk and Resiliency Act advances a number of important recommendations of the NYS 2100 Commission, which the Governor convened after Superstorm Sandy to develop more resilient infrastructure systems across the state.

For the complete press release from the Governor’s office, click here.

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New Report: Current & Future Trends in Extreme Rainfall Across New York State

rainfall

Earlier this month, New York State Attorney General’s Environmental Protection Bureau released a new report entitled “Current & Future Trends in Extreme Rainfall Across New York State”.  The report details the increasing frequency and intensity of extreme rainfall events across New York State and the need to tackle climate change at the state level. It includes a historical analysis of 2-inch rainfall events in New York, which was conducted by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Northeast Regional Climate Center at Cornell University.  That research shows a marked increase in the occurrences of 2-inch rainfalls beginning in the mid-1990s.  Research from the Center also found that intervals between extreme “100-year” rainfall events shortened dramatically for the years 1978 to 2007, to a frequency of only 60 years.

The report also finds that the best-available scientific projections of precipitation trends suggest that we can expect the frequency of extreme rainfall events to increase in the future. According to the recent United States National Climate Assessment report, if current trends in greenhouse gas emissions remain as high as they are today for the remainder of this century, the frequency of extreme rainfall as measured by the 20-year daily storm may increase by up to 300% to 400% before the end of the 21st century.

To view the full report, click here.

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