First Spring Snowmelt Flood Potential Outlook Issued

PROBABILISTIC HYDROLOGIC OUTLOOK
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LA CROSSE WI
340 PM CST THU FEB 20 2014

     ...FIRST SPRING HYDROLOGIC SUMMARY AND OUTLOOK...

THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IS THE FIRST OF TWO PLANNED HYDROLOGIC
OUTLOOKS PROVIDING SPRING SNOWMELT AND FLOOD POTENTIAL INFORMATION
AS WELL AS CLIMATOLOGICAL INFORMATION FOR THIS COMING SPRING. THIS
OUTLOOK CONTAINS INFORMATION WHICH WAS COLLECTED FROM A NUMBER OF
SOURCES...INCLUDING THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NORTH CENTRAL RIVER
FORECAST CENTER /NCRFC/...UNITED STATES GEOLOGICAL SURVEY /USGS/...
US ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS /USACE/...MIDWEST REGIONAL CLIMATE CENTER
/MRCC/...AND THE NATIONAL OPERATIONAL REMOTE SENSING CENTER /NOHRSC/.

THE OUTLOOK THAT FOLLOWS BELOW IS A SUMMARY OF THE PAST AND PRESENT
BASIN CONDITIONS FOR PORTIONS OF SOUTHEAST MINNESOTA...NORTHEAST
IOWA...SOUTHEAST MINNESOTA...AND SOUTHWEST INTO CENTRAL WISCONSIN.

*** FLOOD POTENTIAL HIGHLIGHTS ***

THE FLOOD POTENTIAL FOR SOME AREAS...MAINLY OVER WISCONSIN...MAY BE
A LITTLE ABOVE NORMAL. AND FOR SOME AREAS...MAINLY OVER NORTHEAST
IOWA...THE POTENTIAL MAY BE A LITTLE BELOW NORMAL. BUT OVERALL FOR
THE ENTIRE REGION...THE FLOODING POTENTIAL FOR THIS COMING SPRING
APPEARS TO BE NEAR NORMAL.

OF COURSE THE DEGREE OF FLOODING WE EVENTUALLY SEE WILL DEPEND
GREATLY ON FUTURE WEATHER CONDITIONS...AND THE RATE AT WHICH THE
SNOW MELTS. IT IS IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THAT THERE ARE SEVERAL MORE
WEEKS OF WINTER REMAINING...AND FUTURE CONDITIONS COULD CHANGE.

IN TABLE 1 BELOW...HERE ARE THE CURRENT (CS) AND HISTORICAL (HS) OR
NORMAL PROBABILITIES OF EXCEEDING MINOR...MODERATE...AND MAJOR FLOOD
STAGES ARE LISTED FOR THE VALID TIME PERIOD.

CS VALUES INDICATE THE PROBABILITY OF REACHING A FLOOD CATEGORY
BASED ON CURRENT CONDITIONS.

HS VALUES INDICATE THE PROBABILITY OF REACHING A FLOOD CATEGORY
BASED ON HISTORICAL OR NORMAL CONDITIONS.

WHEN THE VALUE OF CS IS GREATER THAN HS...THE PROBABILITY OF
EXCEEDING THAT LEVEL IS HIGHER THAN NORMAL. WHEN THE VALUE OF CS IS
LESS THAN HS...THE PROBABILITY OF EXCEEDING THAT LEVEL IS LOWER
THAN NORMAL.

...TABLE 1--PROBABILITIES FOR MINOR...MODERATE AND MAJOR FLOODING...
                    VALID  PERIOD: 2/25/2014 - 5/26/2014

                                       :    CURRENT AND HISTORICAL
                                       :     CHANCES OF EXCEEDING
                                       :       FLOOD CATEGORIES
                                       :      AS A PERCENTAGE (%)
                      CATEGORICAL      :
                   FLOOD STAGES (FT)   :   MINOR    MODERATE   MAJOR
LOCATION           MINOR   MOD   MAJOR :  CS   HS   CS   HS   CS   HS
--------           -----  -----  ----- : ---  ---  ---  ---  ---  ---
:BLACK RIVER
NEILLSVILLE         18.0   20.0   22.0 :  <5   <5   <5   <5   <5   <5
BLK RVR FLS         47.0   51.0   55.0 :  92   58   50   23   18   <5
GALESVILLE          12.0   13.0   15.0 :  92   53   70   29   <5   <5
:CEDAR RIVER
LANSING             18.0   20.0   22.0 :  <5    6   <5   <5   <5   <5
AUSTIN              15.0   18.0   20.0 :  <5    6   <5   <5   <5   <5
CHARLES CTY         12.0   15.0   18.0 :  18   16    9    7   <5   <5
:TURTLE CREEK
AUSTIN              10.5   12.0   14.0 :  20   18   12   10    6    9
:KICKAPOO RIVER
LA FARGE            12.0   13.0   14.0 :  <5   <5   <5   <5   <5   <5
VIOLA               14.0   17.0   20.0 :  49   32   <5   <5   <5   <5
READSTOWN           11.0   14.0   17.0 :  61   38   <5   <5   <5   <5
SLDRS GROVE         13.0   16.0   19.0 :  40   20   <5   <5   <5   <5
GAYS MILLS          13.0   15.0   17.0 :  76   43    7    6   <5   <5
STEUBEN             12.0   13.0   15.0 :  58   36   23    9   <5   <5
:MISSISSIPPI RIVER
LAKE CITY           16.0   18.0   20.0 :  20   26   10    7   <5    6
WABASHA             12.0   14.0   16.0 :  64   55   16   18    9    6
ALMA                16.0   17.0   18.0 :   7    6   <5    6   <5   <5
DAM 5              660.0  662.0  665.0 :  20   29   13   13   <5    6
DAM 5A             656.0  659.0  661.0 :  20   26   10    6   <5    6
WINONA              13.0   15.0   18.0 :  36   44   16   23    9    6
TREMPEALEAU        647.0  649.0  651.0 :  30   32   15   16    6    6
LA CRESCENT        641.0  643.0  645.0 :  26   33   12   12   <5    6
LA CROSSE           12.0   13.0   15.5 :  33   36   16   20   <5    6
GENOA              631.0  634.0  636.0 :  49   50   12   10   <5    6
LANSING             17.0   19.0   20.0 :  10    7   <5    6   <5   <5
LYNXVILLE          625.0  628.0  631.0 :  18   26   10    6   <5   <5
MCGREGOR            16.0   20.0   23.0 :  73   49   20   18   12    6
GUTTENBERG          15.0   18.0   21.0 :  60   47   15   10    7   <5
:ROOT RIVER
HOUSTON             15.0   17.0   18.0 :   9    7   <5   <5   <5   <5
:SOUTH BRANCH ROOT RIVER
LANESBORO           12.0   16.0   18.0 :  <5   12   <5   <5   <5   <5
:TREMPEALEAU RIVER
DODGE                9.0   11.0   12.0 : >95   53   27   <5   <5   <5
:TURKEY RIVER
ELKADER             12.0   16.0   20.0 :  32   50   12   16    6    6
GARBER              17.0   20.0   23.0 :  15   33   13   20    7    9
:UPPER IOWA RIVER
DECORAH             12.0   13.0   14.0 :  <5   <5   <5   <5   <5   <5
DORCHESTER          14.0   17.0   19.0 :  20   35   <5   <5   <5   <5
:WISCONSIN RIVER
MUSCODA              9.0   10.0   11.0 :  50    7   25   <5   10   <5
:ZUMBRO RIVER
ZUMBRO FLS          18.0   24.0   26.0 :  10    7   <5   <5   <5   <5
:SOUTH FORK ZUMBRO RIVER
ROCHESTER           14.0   18.0   20.0 :   9   <5   <5   <5   <5   <5


*** CLIMATE INFORMATION ***

SPRING AND VERY EARLY SUMMER 2013 WERE CHARACTERIZED BY ABOVE NORMAL
PRECIPITATION ACROSS THE UPPER MISSISSIPPI WATERSHED...AND THEN
MODERATE TO SEVERE DROUGHT CONDITIONS QUICKLY DEVELOPED ACROSS MUCH
OF THE AREA. ABOVE-NORMAL AUTUMN PRECIPITATION HELPED EASE THE
DROUGHT SOMEWHAT ACROSS SOUTHEAST MINNESOTA...NORTHEAST IOWA...AND
NORTH CENTRAL WISCONSIN. BUT WHILE THE DROUGHT EASED IN THOSE
AREAS...THE SOIL CONDITIONS WERE STILL PRETTY DRY HEADING INTO
WINTER...AS CHARACTERIZED BY NORMAL TO BELOW NORMAL STREAMFLOWS
ACROSS NORTHEAST IOWA...SOUTHEAST MINNESOTA...AND WESTERN WISCONSIN.

LOOKING AHEAD TO THE SPRING OF 2014...CLIMATE MODELS CONTINUE TO
SUGGEST THAT TEMPERATURES WILL REMAIN BELOW NORMAL. THIS WILL LIKELY
DELAY THE SNOW MELT ACROSS THE REGION. MEANWHILE A GENERAL FLOW OF
NORTHWEST WINDS ALOFT WILL LIKELY RESULT IN NEAR TO BELOW NORMAL
PRECIPITATION THROUGH THE END OF FEBRUARY AND INTO MARCH.

*** FLOOD POTENTIAL SUMMARY ***

THE FLOOD POTENTIAL ANALYSIS IS BASED ON CURRENT SOIL AND SNOW
CONDITIONS COMBINED WITH A BROAD SPECTRUM OF POTENTIAL SPRING
WEATHER CONDITIONS REFLECTED IN THE CLIMATE RECORD FROM 1949 TO
2012. THE ANALYSIS BELOW IS VERY GENERAL. A MORE QUANTIFIED RISK OF
FLOODING WITH RESPECT TO CLIMATOLOGY IS AVAILABLE THROUGH WEB
GRAPHICS AND TABLES AT
HTTP://WATER.WEATHER.GOV/AHPS/LONG_RANGE.PHP

THE UPPER MISSISSIPPI RIVER WATERSHED WAS GENERALLY CHARACTERIZED
BY NORMAL TO BELOW NORMAL SOIL MOISTURE CONDITIONS GOING INTO THE
DECEMBER FREEZE-UP. WINTER PRECIPITATION HAS BEEN ABOVE NORMAL
ACROSS CENTRAL MINNESOTA AND NORTHWEST WISCONSIN WITH NEAR NORMAL
PRECIPITATION OBSERVED ACROSS THE REST OF OUR REGION. SNOW COVER IS
PRESENT ACROSS THE ENTIRE WATERSHED...WITH SNOW WATER AMOUNTS
RANGING BETWEEN 2 AND 3 INCHES ACROSS SOUTHERN PARTS OF MINNESOTA
AND WISCONSIN...AS WELL AS NORTHEAST IOWA. AMOUNTS OF 3 TO NEARLY
4 INCHES ARE SEEN OVER PARTS OF NORTH CENTRAL AND WESTERN
WISCONSIN...WITH 5 INCHES OF SNOW WATER CONTENT IN THE UPPER
PORTIONS OF THE ST. CROIX...CHIPPEWA...AND WISCONSIN RIVER BASINS.

DUE TO THE PERSISTENT COLD TEMPERATURES ACROSS THE MIDWEST THIS
WINTER...THE GROUND HAS FROZEN DOWN TO ABOUT 2 FEET ACROSS NORTHEAST
IOWA...AND AROUND 3 FEET ACROSS SOUTHEAST MINNESOTA INTO SOUTHWEST
WISCONSIN. FROST DEPTH AS LOW AS 4 TO 5 FEET HAS BEEN REPORTED
FOR PORTIONS OF CENTRAL AND NORTH CENTRAL WISCONSIN.

AS A RESULT OF THESE CONDITIONS...THERE IS A SOMEWHAT ELEVATED RISK
OF SPRING FLOODING ACROSS MUCH OF WISCONSIN...INCLUDING THE BLACK...
TREMPEALEAU...KICKAPOO...AND WISCONSIN RIVER BASINS. THE RISK IS
SLIGHTLY BELOW NORMAL FURTHER TO THE SOUTH AND WEST...INCLUDING
THE NORTHEAST IOWA BASINS SUCH AS THE CEDAR...UPPER IOWA...AND
TURKEY RIVERS. FOR SOUTHEAST MINNESOTA RIVERS...AND THE MAINSTEM
MISSISSIPPI RIVER...THERE IS A CLIMATOLOGICALLY NORMAL RISK OF MINOR
FLOODING WITH A DIMINISHED RISK FOR MODERATE OR HIGHER LEVEL
FLOODING.

IN TABLE 2 BELOW...THE 95 THROUGH 5 PERCENT COLUMNS INDICATE THE
PROBABILITY OF EXCEEDING THE LISTED STAGE LEVELS (FT) FOR THE VALID
TIME PERIOD.  FOR EXAMPLE...FOR THE CEDAR RIVER AT AUSTIN...THERE IS
A 50% CHANCE THAT THE RIVER WILL RISE ABOVE 9.0 FEET...AND A 25%
CHANCE TO RISE ABOVE 10.8 FEET.

...TABLE 2--EXCEEDANCE PROBABILITIES...

                              CHANCE OF EXCEEDING STAGES
                                 AT SPECIFIC LOCATIONS
                          VALID  PERIOD: 2/25/2014 - 5/26/2014
LOCATION              95%    90%    75%    50%    25%    10%     5%
--------            ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
:BLACK RIVER
NEILLSVILLE          10.3   11.8   12.7   13.6   15.4   16.8   18.8
BLK RVR FLS          46.0   47.7   49.4   51.2   54.2   56.3   58.7
GALESVILLE           11.1   12.2   13.0   13.4   14.2   14.7   15.5
:CEDAR RIVER
LANSING              13.1   13.5   14.2   15.1   16.0   16.8   18.1
AUSTIN                6.4    6.7    7.8    9.0   10.8   12.3   14.9
CHARLES CTY           5.5    5.8    7.3    8.7   10.7   14.9   17.0
:TURTLE CREEK
AUSTIN                6.0    6.3    7.7    8.6    9.8   12.4   14.7
:KICKAPOO RIVER
LA FARGE              5.9    6.2    7.2    8.4    9.6   11.0   11.4
VIOLA                11.9   12.2   13.0   14.0   14.7   15.4   15.9
READSTOWN             8.6    9.0   10.3   11.2   11.8   12.7   13.3
SLDRS GROVE          10.9   11.1   12.1   12.8   13.3   14.3   14.9
GAYS MILLS           11.8   12.2   13.0   13.5   13.9   14.9   15.7
STEUBEN              11.1   11.4   11.7   12.3   12.7   13.5   13.9
:MISSISSIPPI RIVER
LAKE CITY            12.3   12.8   13.6   14.5   15.5   18.5   20.1
WABASHA              11.0   11.5   11.9   12.5   13.2   15.9   17.4
ALMA                  9.1    9.7   10.4   11.4   12.4   15.6   17.3
DAM 5               655.8  656.5  657.3  658.4  659.7  663.5  665.4
DAM 5A              651.2  652.0  652.9  654.0  655.5  659.4  661.2
WINONA                9.8   10.5   11.4   12.5   14.0   18.0   19.6
TREMPEALEAU         643.9  644.5  645.3  646.2  647.3  650.2  651.3
LA CRESCENT         637.7  638.2  639.1  640.0  641.0  644.3  645.7
LA CROSSE             9.4   10.0   10.7   11.5   12.3   14.9   16.3
GENOA               628.7  629.3  630.1  631.0  632.0  635.3  636.9
LANSING              10.5   11.0   11.7   12.8   14.3   18.1   19.9
LYNXVILLE           620.3  620.9  621.9  623.1  624.6  628.6  630.6
MCGREGOR             13.6   14.8   16.0   17.9   19.6   23.6   26.4
GUTTENBERG           12.6   13.6   14.3   15.8   17.1   20.3   22.7
:ROOT RIVER
HOUSTON               7.0    7.5    8.3   10.0   12.3   15.0   15.7
:SOUTH BRANCH ROOT RIVER
LANESBORO             4.0    4.2    4.6    5.2    7.4    9.9   10.7
:TREMPEALEAU RIVER
DODGE                 9.1    9.4    9.9   10.5   11.1   11.8   12.0
:TURKEY RIVER
ELKADER               8.3    8.5    9.2   10.7   12.8   18.8   21.5
GARBER                9.3    9.7   10.5   12.7   15.2   21.2   28.5
:UPPER IOWA RIVER
DECORAH               3.9    4.4    4.8    5.6    7.4    9.0   10.5
DORCHESTER            9.5   10.0   10.6   11.5   13.7   15.7   17.2
:WISCONSIN RIVER
MUSCODA               6.7    7.4    7.9    8.9    9.9   10.9   11.3
:ZUMBRO RIVER
ZUMBRO FLS            8.5    9.1   10.1   11.7   13.4   18.6   20.9
:SOUTH FORK ZUMBRO RIVER
ROCHESTER             4.1    4.6    5.5    7.3   10.2   14.2   15.1


THESE LONG-RANGE PROBABILISTIC OUTLOOKS CONTAIN 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...SNOW COVER...AND 30 TO 90 DAY LONG-RANGE
OUTLOOKS OF TEMPERATURE AND PRECIPITATION. BY PROVIDING A 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.

ALL OF THIS INFORMATION IS ALSO AVAILABLE IN GRAPHICAL FORMAT
ON THE INTERNET AT

HTTP://WWW.WEATHER.GOV/LACROSSE (LOWER CASE)

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION IS ALSO AVAILABLE ON THE NORTH CENTRAL RIVER
FORECAST CENTER WEBSITE AT

HTTP://WWW.CRH.NOAA.GOV/NCRFC

THE NEXT OUTLOOK WILL BE ISSUED ON MARCH 6TH.

$$

WELVAERT


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