Mar 6, 2015 6:34 PM

Hydrologic Outlook for NH for Flooding Potential

Clayton Stiver

The National Weather Service has released their latest winter/spring flood outlook. The next report will be issued by 8am Friday, March 20.

For the next two weeks, flood potential is normal. The longer term flood potential is above normal. For the flooding potential due to ice jams, over the next two weeks, levels look normal. The longer term ice jam flood potential is above normal.

Indications are that the relentless cold that we've experienced will begin to moderate as the jet stream lifts to the north. A more west to east flow regime aloft with the jet stream will make for quick moving systems that only bring light precipitation over the next couple of weeks.

In the short term, temps will run slightly above normal while precipitation will run below normal. After two weeks, temps look to run above normal with near normal precipitation.

Snow depth and snow water equivalent are above normal for southern and southeast NH while the rest of the state is seeing normal snow depth and snow water equivalent levels.

Soil moisture levels are near normal for most with the exception of the Seacoast where they are above normal.

River flows remain near normal for this time of year. Most rivers and streams are ice covered and river flows are lower due to lack of runoff.

In the long term, we will likely be going into late March with a significant snowpack and ice cover. The later into the season we progress with a significant snowpack the greater the chance of a rapid warm up with rain.

It is important to note that major flooding does not occur from snow melt alone. Rainfall events are the most important factor in determining just how severe the flooding could be. Heavy rain in a short amount of time would be the worst contributor towards major flooding. At least in the short term it does not appear we will see any heavy rain events.


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