SPRING FLOOD AND WATER RESOURCES OUTLOOK

ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE

 HASTINGS NEBRASKA

THIS OUTLOOK IS FOR THE HASTINGS HYDROLOGIC SERVICE AREA (HSA). IN SOUTH CENTRAL NEBRASKA THIS OUTLOOK INCLUDES THE PLATTE, LOUP, LITTLE BLUE AND REPUBLICAN RIVERS AND THEIR TRIBUTARIES.  IN NORTH CENTRAL KANSAS, THE SOLOMON RIVER AND ITS TRIBUTARIES ARE INCLUDED.


→ SHORT TERM OUTLOOK...FEBRUARY 22 TO MARCH 7.

...ELEVATED RIVER LEVELS DUE TO RIVER ICE, ICE JAMS AND DEBRIS JAMS...WILL BE POSSIBLE THE NEXT TWO WEEKS...

THE BELOW AVERAGE TEMPERATURES THIS WINTER HAVE RESULTED IN THICK RIVER ICE ACROSS SOUTH CENTRAL NEBRASKA AND NORTH CENTRAL KANSAS. THIS ICE WILL BEGIN TO BREAK UP OVER THE NEXT TWO WEEKS DUE TO SEVERAL PERIODS OF WARMING THAT WILL MAKE ICE JAMS A POSSIBILITY. THE LOUP RIVER HAS ALREADY BEEN RUNNING HIGH THE PAST FEW DAYS DUE TO ICE CONDITIONS. THE PRIMARY RIVERS SUSCEPTIBLE TO ICE JAM RELATED FLOODING ARE THE LOUP AND PLATTE RIVERS.

TO VIEW THE LATEST SHORT TERM FLOOD OUTLOOKS FOR THE REGION, CLICK ON THE MAP ABOVE OR GO TO THE MISSOURI RIVER BASIN FORECAST CENTER WEBSITE.

→ LONG TERM OUTLOOK...SPRING FLOOD OUTLOOK FOR MARCH, APRIL AND MAY.

SPRING FLOOD OUTLOOKS ARE ROUTINELY ISSUED IN FEBRUARY AND MARCH TO GIVE ADVANCED NOTICE OF POSSIBLE FLOODING. THEY ARE BASED ON SOIL MOISTURE, SNOWPACK MAGNITUDE AND STREAMFLOW CONDITIONS AT THE TIME THE OUTLOOK IS ISSUED. OUTLOOKS FOR SNOWMELT FLOOD POTENTIAL ARE ALSO BASED ON FUTURE TEMPERATURES AND PRECIPITATION PATTERNS.

CURRENTLY THERE IS LITTLE TO NO SNOW COVER ACROSS SOUTH CENTRAL NEBRASKA AND NORTH CENTRAL KANSAS. HOWEVER, TOP SOIL MOISTURE IS VERY SATURATED DUE TO THE RECENT MELTING OF OUR WINTER SNOWPACK. THEREFORE, SPRING FLOODING IS FAVORABLE TO OCCUR IF HEAVY SNOW OR RAINFALL EVENTS OCCUR THIS SPRING.

→ CLIMATOLOGICAL REVIEW.

TEMPERATURES THIS WINTER HAVE BEEN SOLIDLY BELOW NORMAL ACROSS SOUTH CENTRAL NEBRASKA AND NORTH CENTRAL KANSAS, THANKS TO A PERSISTENT NORTHWEST FLOW BRINGING FREQUENT COLD AIR OUTBREAKS TO THE AREA. ALSO, SNOWFALL EARLY IN DECEMBER FOLLOWED BY SOME ICE, RESULTED IN A GROUND COVER OF SNOW FOR SEVERAL WEEKS IN SOME AREAS. THE SWATH OF SNOW COVER RAN FROM SOUTHWEST TO NORTHEAST ACROSS CENTRAL SECTIONS OF THE HASTINGS HSA. IN SOME CASES, THE LENGTH OF SNOW COVER WAS WITHIN THE TOP FIVE LONGEST PERIODS OF SNOW COVER IN HISTORY. WITHIN THIS AREA, AVERAGE TEMPERATURES IN DECEMBER WERE 4 TO 7 DEGREES BELOW NORMAL AND 2 TO 4 DEGREES BELOW NORMAL IN JANUARY. REGIONS WITH LESS SNOW IN DECEMBER AND JANUARY AVERAGED 1 TO 3 DEGREES BELOW NORMAL.


THE EARLY SNOW COVER FINALLY MELTED ENOUGH IN LATE JANUARY AND FEBRUARY TO ALLOW MORE OF THE HSA TO EXPERIENCE WARMER TEMPERATURES. EVEN WITH THE WARMER TEMPERATURES, TEMPERATURES THROUGH THE FIRST HALF OF FEBRUARY STILL AVERAGED ABOUT 1 TO 4 DEGREES BELOW NORMAL.

PRECIPITATION SINCE DECEMBER HAS BEEN MARKED BY FREQUENT LIGHT AMOUNT EVENTS, WITH AN OCCASIONAL EVENT WITH HEAVIER PRECIPITATION. DECEMBER WAS ABOVE NORMAL FOR MOST OF THE HSA, AS MUCH AS 1 TO 1.5 INCHES ABOVE NORMAL IN SOME AREAS. JANUARY AND THE FIRST HALF OF FEBRUARY HAS BEEN MUCH DRIER AND BELOW NORMAL FOR MOST AREAS. THE DRYNESS HAS BEEN MOST PREVALENT ACROSS THE NORTHWEST AND FAR WESTERN HSA. FOR THE WINTER SEASON, AREAS OF THE HASTINGS HSA GENERALLY ALONG AND SOUTH U.S HIGHWAY 30 EXPERIENCED ABOVE NORMAL PRECIPITATION, WHILE AREAS TO NORTH HAVE BEEN AT OR BELOW NORMAL.

THE LATEST U.S. DROUGHT MONITOR DID NOT DEPICT ANY SECTION OF SOUTH CENTRAL NEBRASKA OR NORTH CENTRAL KANSAS WITH DROUGHT OR EVEN ABNORMALLY DRY CONDITIONS. THOUGH JANUARY AND FEBRUARY HAVE BEEN SOMEWHAT DRIER, PRECIPITATION IN DECEMBER WAS ABOVE NORMAL, AND RAINFALL LAST OCTOBER WAS WELL ABOVE NORMAL. THE COMBINATION OF FALL AND EARLY WINTER PRECIPITATION HAS SUSTAINED ADEQUATE SOIL MOISTURE TO THIS POINT. THE MOST RECENT CALCULATED SOIL MOISTURE FOR THE AREA SUGGESTS AT LEAST NORMAL TO SLIGHTLY ABOVE NORMAL SOIL MOISTURE. SHOULD INADEQUATE PRECIPITATION AND A LENGTHY WARM SPELL SET UP OVER THE AREA, WESTERN SECTIONS OF THE HASTINGS HSA WOULD BE MOST SUSCEPTIBLE TO DEVELOPING DROUGHT CONDITIONS THIS SPRING.

FOR MORE DROUGHT INFORMATION GO TO NOAA’S DROUGHT WEBSITE.

THE LATEST MOUNTAIN SNOWPACK IN THE UPPER PLATTE RIVER BASIN OF COLORADO AND WYOMING RANGED FROM 90 TO 120 PERCENT OF NORMAL. PRECIPITATION IN THE BASIN HAS RAN AT OR SLIGHTLY ABOVE NORMAL FOR THE WINTER MONTHS. AT THESE LEVELS, RUNOFF INTO THE PLATTE RIVER BASIN IS NOT EXPECTED TO CAUSE FLOODING. THE SNOWPACK IN BOTH THE SOUTH AND NORTH PLATTE RIVER BASINS IS GREATER THAN SNOWPACK CONDITIONS IN 2007.
 

→ CLIMATOLOGICAL OUTLOOK.

IN THE 6 TO 14 DAY OUTLOOK, THOUGH THERE WILL BE WARMER AND COLDER PERIODS, TEMPERATURES THROUGH THIS PERIOD ARE EXPECTED TO BE NEAR NORMAL. PRECIPITATION IS EXPECTED TO BE BELOW NORMAL NORMAL HIGH TEMPERATURES DURING THE NEXT TWO WEEKS. AVERAGE HIGH TEMPERATURES RANGE FROM THE 40S ACROSS THE NEBRASKA PORTION OF THE HSA TO UPPER 40S AND LOWER 50S ACROSS THE KANSAS PORTION OF THE HSA. AVERAGE LOW TEMPERATURES VARY FROM THE LOWER 20S TO NEAR 30.

GOING INTO MARCH, AVERAGE HIGH TEMPERATURES BY THE END OF MONTH WILL RANGE FROM THE MIDDLE 50S TO MIDDLE 60S. LOW TEMPERATURES WILL BE IN THE 30S AND 40S. NORMAL PRECIPITATION IN MARCH IS AROUND TWO INCHES.

THE 30 TO 90 DAY OUTLOOK FOR THE REGION DEPICTS NEAR NORMAL TO SLIGHTLY ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES FOR THE AREA, WITH THE SOUTHERN HALF OF THE HSA THE FAVORED AREA FOR ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES. BY MAY 1ST, AVERAGE HIGH TEMPERATURES ARE IN THE UPPER 60S TO LOWER 70S AND AVERAGE LOW TEMPERATURES ARE NEAR 50 DEGREES.

PRECIPITATION IS EXPECTED TO BE NORMAL TO SLIGHTLY BELOW NORMAL. AVERAGE PRECIPITATION DURING THE SPRING MONTHS RANGES FROM 7 TO 11 INCHES, WITH MAY THE WETTEST MONTH WHEN 3 TO 5 INCHES OF RAIN FALLS. 

FOR THE LATEST LONG LEAD OUTLOOKS, GO TO THE CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER WEBSITE.

FOR THE LATEST THREE-MONTH FORECASTS FOR SELECTED SITES IN SOUTH CENTRAL NEBRASKA AND NORTH CENTRAL KANSAS ARE AVAILABLE HERE.

CURRENT LONG TERM FORECAST TRENDS ARE HEAVILY INFLUENCED BY THE STRONG LA NINA EPISODE ONGOING IN THE CENTRAL PACIFIC OCEAN. LA NINA OCCURS WHEN SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURES IN THE PACIFIC OCEAN ARE COOLER THAN NORMAL. DURING LA NINA EVENTS, THE WEATHER ACROSS THE HASTINGS HSA IS USUALLY HIGHLY VARIABLE, BUT TENDS TO FAVOR SLIGHTLY WARMER THAN NORMAL TEMPERATURES. ON AVERAGE, AND BELOW NORMAL PRECIPITATION.

EXTENDED SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURE FORECASTS THROUGH THE FALL OF 2008 POINT TOWARD THIS LA NINA EPISODE CONTINUING, BUT WEAKENING WITH TIME.

THE LATEST LA NINA/EL NINO CONDITIONS ARE AVAILABLE ON THE CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER LA NINA/EL NINO PAGE.  

→ HYDROLOGIC OUTLOOK.

THERE IS LITTLE POTENTIAL FOR FLOODING THIS SPRING DUE TO THE EFFECTS OF SNOWMELT, AS LITTLE SNOW REMAINS ON THE GROUND.

THE FOLLOWING TABLE IS THE ADVANCED HYDROLOGIC PREDICTION SERVICE PROBABILISTIC OUTLOOK FOR THE LITTLE BLUE AND LOUP RIVER BASINS.

THIS LONG-RANGE PROBABILISTIC OUTLOOK CONTAINS FORECAST VALUES THAT ARE CALCULATED USING MULTIPLE SEASON SCENARIOS FROM 30 OR MORE YEARS OF CLIMATOLOGICAL DATA INCLUDING: CURRENT CONDITIONS OF THE RIVER, SOIL MOISTURE AND 30 TO 90 DAY LONG-RANGE OUTLOOKS OF TEMPERATURE AND PRECIPITATION. BY PROVIDING THE COMPLETE RANGE OF PROBABILITIES, THE LEVEL OF RISK ASSOCIATED WITH LONG-RANGE PLANNING DECISIONS CAN BE DETERMINED. THESE PROBABILISTIC FORECASTS ARE PART OF THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE`S ADVANCED HYDROLOGIC PREDICTION SERVICE.

THE VALUES IN THE TABLE BELOW ARE VALID FROM FEB 25 2008 TO MAY 25 2008.

IN THE TABLE BELOW, THE 90 THROUGH 10 PERCENT COLUMNS INDICATE THE CHANCE THAT A LOCATION ON A RIVER COULD RISE ABOVE THE LISTED STAGE LEVELS IN THE NEXT 90 DAYS. FOR EXAMPLE: THE LITTLE BLUE RIVER NEAR DEWEESE HAS A FLOOD STAGE OF 10 FEET. THERE IS A 20 PERCENT CHANCE THAT THE RIVER WILL RISE ABOVE 9.6 FEET IN THE NEXT 90 DAYS.  ALL STAGES ARE IN FEET.


Location River Basin Flood Stage (FT) 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10%
Fullerton Cedar River 9.0 4.3 4.9 5.3 5.5 5.7 6.1 6.4 6.8 8.9
Deweese Little Blue River 10.0 2.9 4.1 5.5 6.6 7.6 8.0 8.8 9.6 10.8
Genoa Loup River 9.0 6.2 6.3 6.7 6.9 7.2 7.4 7.7 8.2 10.0
Saint Paul Middle Loup River 8.0 3.3 2.8 3.0 3.1 3.4 3.5 3.7 4.1 5.3
Sweetwater Mud Creek 15.0 6.7 8.1 8.9 9.7 10.7 11.8 12.6 14.1 17.3
Saint Paul North Loup River 5.5 2.5 3.7 3.8 3.9 4.1 4.3 4.4 4.6 4.9
Saint Michael South Loup River 6.5 3.4 3.6 3.8 4.2 4.4 4.6 5.2 6.5 8.0
Ravenna South Loup River 5.0 2.8 3.0 3.1 3.3 3.5 4.0 4.2 4.9 6.1


FOR MORE WEATHER AND HYDROLOGIC INFORMATION, GO TO THE HASTINGS NWS WEBSITE AT:  http://www.weather.gov/hastings


 

 

 


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