National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

...WINTER AND SPRING FLOOD POTENTIAL OUTLOOK FOR NORTHERN...

CENTRAL AND DOWNEAST MAINE...

 

THIS IS THE THIRD WINTER/SPRING FLOOD POTENTIAL OUTLOOK FOR

2014...ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN CARIBOU, MAINE.

THE WINTER/SPRING FLOOD POTENTIAL IS FOR NORTHERN, CENTRAL AND

DOWNEAST MAINE FOR THE TWO WEEK PERIOD FROM FEBRUARY 6 TO FEBRUARY

20, 2014.

 

THE WINTER/SPRING FLOOD POTENTIAL FOR ALL OF NORTHERN, CENTRAL,

AND DOWNEAST MAINE IS BELOW NORMAL. LIKEWISE, THE POTENTIAL FOR

FLOODING DUE TO ICE JAMS IS ALSO BELOW NORMAL. HOWEVER, THE

POTENTIAL FOR ICE JAM FLOODING IS EXPECTED TO INCREASE THROUGH THE

LONGER TERM.

 

...CLIMATOLOGICAL GUIDANCE...

THE FLUCTUATING WEATHER PATTERN CONTINUED OVER THE PAST COUPLE OF

WEEKS, THOUGH THE TEMPERATURE SWINGS HAVE NOT BEEN NEARLY AS

DRASTIC AS WE SAW THROUGH MUCH OF EARLY AND MID JANUARY. HOWEVER,

THERE HAVE STILL BEEN SOME WARM DAYS ACROSS THE REGION, WITH HIGHS

REACHING INTO THE MID AND UPPER 30S. THERE HAVE BEEN A COUPLE OF

MODERATE SNOWFALL EVENTS THAT FOCUSED ON ONE PORTION OF THE

FORECAST AREA OR ANOTHER WITH DRY DAYS INTERSPERSED BETWEEN.

LITTLE TO NO RAIN HAS BEEN OBSERVED SINCE MID JANUARY.

 

COLDER THAN NORMAL CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO PERSIST THROUGH THE

NEXT SEVERAL DAYS, THOUGH LONGER RANGE MODELS ARE HINTING THAT WE

MAY SEE MODERATING TEMPERATURES TOWARD THE END OF THE PERIOD. THE

PATTERN ALSO LOOKS TO STAY ACTIVE WITH A STORM SYSTEM POTENTIALLY

AFFECTING THE STATE EVERY FEW DAYS. THE OFFICIAL NATIONAL WEATHER

SERVICE 8-14 DAY OUTLOOK MATCHES THIS THINKING WELL, CALLING FOR

COOLER THAN NORMAL TEMPERATURES AND ABOVE NORMAL PRECIPITATION

THROUGH FEBRUARY 20.

 

...OBSERVED SNOW DEPTH AND WATER EQUIVALENTS...

SNOW DEPTHS INCREASED DOWNEAST AND ALONG THE COAST OWING TO

YESTERDAY`S STORM WHICH DROPPED 6 TO 10 INCHES OF SNOW. AS A

RESULT, SNOW DEPTHS IN THESE AREAS ARE NOW CLOSER TO NORMAL,

THOUGH STILL A BIT LOWER THAN THEY SHOULD BE FOR THIS TIME OF

YEAR. FURTHER NORTH, ACROSS NORTHERN MAINE AND THE CENTRAL

HIGHLANDS, 18 TO 28 INCHES OF SNOW COVERS THE GROUND. THIS IS

CLOSE TO NORMAL TO PERHAPS A BIT ABOVE NORMAL ACROSS THE FAR

NORTHWEST.

 

SNOW WATER EQUIVALENT, OR THE AMOUNT OF WATER CONTAINED IN THE

SNOWPACK, IS ALSO NEAR NORMAL OVER JUST ABOUT ALL OF THE FORECAST

AREA. THE HIGHEST AMOUNTS CAN BE FOUND ACROSS NORTHERN MAINE WHERE

5 TO 7 INCHES OF WATER LIES IN THE PACK. THIS DECREASES TO 3 TO 5

INCHES IN CENTRAL PORTIONS OF THE STATE, AND 1 TO 3 INCHES

DOWNEAST AND ALONG THE COAST.

 

...SOIL MOISTURE AND WATER SUPPLY CONDITIONS...

IN SPITE OF SOME COOLER TEMPERATURES, ANTECEDENT SOIL MOISTURE

CONDITIONS ARE STILL WET FROM JANUARY`S RAIN AND SNOWMELT. THE

LATEST PALMER DROUGHT SEVERITY INDEX, ISSUED ON FEBRUARY 1,

INDICATES MOIST TO VERY MOIST CONDITIONS ACROSS NORTHERN, CENTRAL,

AND DOWNEAST MAINE. GROUNDWATER LEVELS ARE NORMAL TO SLIGHTLY

BELOW NORMAL.

 

...RIVER AND ICE CONDITIONS...

RIVER FLOWS HAVE GENERALLY BEEN ON THE DECLINE OVER THE PAST

SEVERAL DAYS AS TEMPERATURES HAVE BEEN COOL ENOUGH TO LIMIT ANY

SIGNIFICANT SNOWMELT AND KEEP MOST PRECIPITATION IN THE FORM OF

SNOW. WITH NO MAJOR WARM UP OR HEAVY RAIN EVENT IN THE FORESEEABLE

FUTURE, THIS DOWNWARD TREND WITH A TURN TOWARDS STEADY STATE IS

EXPECTED TO CONTINUE OVER THE NEXT TWO WEEKS.

 

ICE COVERAGE AND THICKNESSES ARE RUNNING NORMAL TO ABOVE NORMAL

ACROSS MUCH OF THE REGION. THE RETURN TO COLDER TEMPERATURES HAS

ALLOWED THE ICE TO STRENGTHEN OR REFORM IN THOSE PLACES THAT

EXPERIENCED BREAK UP WITH THE JANUARY THAW. WITH COOLER THAN

NORMAL TEMPERATURES ANTICIPATED OVER THE NEXT WEEK TO 10 DAYS, THE

ICE WILL CONTINUE TO INCREASE IN COVERAGE AND THICKNESS. AT THIS

TIME, THE ICE ALONG THE SAINT JOHN, ALLAGASH, AND AROOSTOOK RIVERS

IS ESTIMATED TO BE 20 TO 30 INCHES THICK, WITH ISOLATED SPOTS

CLOSER TO 12 INCHES. THE UPPER REACHES OF THE MATTAWAMKEAG, PENOBSCOT,

THE EAST BRANCH OF THE PENOBSCOT, AND THE PISCATAQUIS RIVERS ARE

ESTIMATED TO HAVE ICE OF 14 TO 18 INCHES THICK. IN THE LOWER

REACHES OF THESE RIVERS, THE ICE HAS BEGUN TO REFORM SINCE IT

BROKE UP A FEW WEEKS AGO. ICE THICKNESSES IN THESE STRETCHES IS

THOUGHT TO BE AROUND 6 INCHES.

 

SEVERAL JAMS REMAIN LOCKED IN PLACE ACROSS CARIBOU`S FORECAST

AREA. THESE INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO ICE JAMS ALONG THE

SAINT JOHN RIVER UPSTREAM OF FORT KENT, THE EAST BRANCH OF THE

PENOBSCOT RIVER DOWNSTREAM OF GRINDSTONE, THE PENOBSCOT RIVER NEAR

WINN, THE PISCATAQUIS RIVER UPSTREAM OF HOWLAND, AND THE

KENDUSKEAG STREAM IN DOWNTOWN BANGOR. THESE JAMS ARE NOW WELL

FROZEN IN PLACE AND ARE NOT EXPECTED TO MOVE OVER THE NEXT 10 DAYS

OR SO. HOWEVER, SHOULD A MILD SPELL HIT, ESPECIALLY ACCOMPANIED BY

RAIN, THESE EXISTING JAMS WILL LIKELY SERVE AS A FOCUS FOR

ADDITIONAL JAMMING AND POTENTIAL FLOODING. IN ADDITION, THE ICE

ALONG THE UNBROKEN STRETCHES IS VERY WELL ESTABLISHED AND WHILE IT

WILL TAKE SIGNIFICANT RIVER RISES TO BREAK IT UP, IT WILL BE MORE

SUSCEPTIBLE TO CAUSING JAMMING ONCE IT DOES RELEASE.

 

...IN CONCLUSION...

BASED ON THE AFOREMENTIONED INFORMATION, THE WINTER/SPRING FLOOD

POTENTIAL IS BELOW NORMAL ACROSS ALL OF NORTHERN, CENTRAL AND

DOWNEAST MAINE. ALTHOUGH SNOW DEPTHS AND SNOW WATER EQUIVALENTS

ARE NEAR NORMAL AND ANTECEDENT CONDITIONS ARE WET, COOLER THAN

NORMAL TEMPERATURES WILL KEEP MOST PRECIPITATION IN THE FORM OF

SNOW OVER THE NEXT SEVERAL DAYS AND LIMIT SNOWMELT.

 

THE POTENTIAL FOR ICE JAM FLOODING IS ALSO BELOW NORMAL. ALTHOUGH

ICE JAMS EXIST ALONG THE PISCATAQUIS, EAST BRANCH, AND PENOBSCOT

RIVERS AND KENDUSKEAG STREAM, THESE JAMS ARE LOCKED IN PLACE.

FURTHER NORTH, THE ICE IS WELL ESTABLISHED ON THE SAINT JOHN,

AROOSTOOK, AND ALLAGASH WATERWAYS. WITH COLD CONDITIONS AND NO

RAIN IN THE FORECAST, NO SIGNIFICANT ICE MOVEMENT IS EXPECTED AT

THIS TIME. HOWEVER, THESE COLDER TEMPERATURES AND AN INCREASING

SNOWPACK WILL SERVE TO INCREASE ICE COVERAGE AND THICKNESS. WHILE

THE THREAT FOR BREAK UP ICE JAM FLOODING IS GENERALLY LOW, THE

THREAT WILL GRADUALLY INCREASE AS WE APPROACH LATE FEBRUARY AND THE

SUN ANGLE INCREASES AND TEMPERATURES CONTINUE TO MODERATE WITH

TIME.

 

IT IS IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THAT VERY HEAVY RAINFALL CAN BRING

FLOODING AT ANY TIME OF THE YEAR, EVEN IN AREAS THAT HAVE LITTLE

OR NO SNOW ON THE GROUND.

 

THE NEXT WINTER/SPRING FLOOD POTENTIAL OUTLOOK WILL BE ISSUED BY

NWS CARIBOU ON THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2014.