National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Blizzard Conditions Over the Sierra Nevada Mountains; Critical Fire Weather in the High Plains

A strong winter storm across the west is currently producing heavy mountain snow, strong/high winds, and heavy low elevation rain to parts of the Pacific Northwest, Great Basin, California and the northern/central Rockies. Impacts are expected to continue through Sunday. Across the High Plains, strong winds and dry air will support Critical to Elevated fire weather conditions through the weekend. Read More >


This page provides a broad overview of most of the record breaking flooding that has occurred in the Northeastern United States. It does not attempt to document every flood that has occurred in the region.

Upon reviewing these cases, it can be seen that flooding can occur at any time of year, and can result from many different types of meteorological events. In general, a single large rainfall event may be sufficient to cause minor to moderate flooding. However, the largest floods in the northeast have generally been caused by two large storms falling in a 7 day period. It should also be remebered that all 6 inch rainstorms are not equal. A six inch rain in April, accompanied by snowmelt and wet soil conditions will have a much larger impact on the rivers than a 6 inch rain in August when soil conditions are normally much dryer and the vegetative cover consumes a large portion of the precipitation.

Following the disastrous floods in the early part of the 20th century, a large number of flood control projects were developed by the US Army Corps of Engineers. These have successfully reduced many flood peaks. However, the entire area obviously cannot be controlled and more floods are sure to come.


Date Event Description
November 1996 Record flooding occurred just west of Lake Champlain following a 5-8 inch rainfall
March/April 1987 Heavy rains combined with snowmelt resulted in major flooding throughout New England.
June 1982 Up to 16 inches of rainfall resulted in major flooding throughout Connecticut
June 1972 Hurricane Agnes moved up the East Coast. While the most significant damages were along the Susquehanna River basin, major flooding was also reported along the Genesee River in Western New York
March 1968 Heavy rain combined with snowmelt caused small river flooding in southeast New England
August 1955 Hurricanes Connie and Diane came a week apart to batter most of New England with the most significant flooding recorded at many locations.
January 1949 A New Years Day storm resulted in flooding principally in the Hudson Valley
September 1938 Widespread 10 inch rainfall caused by a hurricane resulted in major flooding throughout the Connecticut River valley
March 1936 Heavy Rain and melting snow caused major flooding throughout the Northeast and Middle Atlantic states
November 1927 A late season tropical system produced record flooding in Vermont