Friday, March 28, 2014

Flood potential for this weekend

Good afternoon After wavering on track and intensity, the National Weather Service (NWS) and other forecast services are mostly in agreement about this coming weekend. The flood watch headlines have been posted, and I will not be surprised if we see flood warnings (both general and for poor drainage areas) beginning tomorrow evening. The storm will track into the Mid-Atlantic region Saturday night, so there is still time for change, but here is the latest forecast: Rain - A slow moving storm will begin tomorrow afternoon, increase in intensity during the evening and become heavy during the overnight. 2+ inches of rain is expected during the overnight period alone (with another combined inch or so before and after the heaviest downpours). The latest projections are for rain to continue through most of the day on Sunday - perhaps not completely ending until Monday. Our area should see all rain - not snow. Snow pack - Although valley locations have little snow remaining on the ground, mountainous areas still have a few inches of liquid equivalent left in the snowpack in those areas. Frost - While the top few inches of soil may be muddy, there is still frost extending well into the ground. This will affect the ability of the soil to accept much rain - most will result in run-off. Ice Jam - Again, there is a wide variety in the County of free flowing streams and those slower moving bodies of water with considerable ice remaining. As run-off from the storm flows into ice laden streams, expect remaining ice to break up, and potentially back up - ice jam flooding can develop very rapidly. Reservoirs - After weeks of releases, the Ashokan is at 84% and the Rondout is just under 90%. Flood potential - Poor drainage areas will be the first to feel the effects of the storm, but the factors above all indicate we MAY face widespread issues with flooding during the overnight on Saturday through perhaps Monday (depending on how quickly the storm moves away). Please monitor conditions throughout the weekend as conditions change. If you need assistance from this office, please call. Art