In case you haven’t ventured outside today, the temperature is finally much more tolerable, almost balmy.
As great as the barometric relief has been, it has led to concerns by the National Weather Service (NWS) over prospective incidents of flash flooding in our region.
The NWS Cleveland is forecasting what they call a “rapid snowmelt” event starting today and continuing through the weekend. Due to the rapidity of the melt-off, they are advising communities in the Cuyahoga watershed to be alert for potential flooding along rivers and streams.
With water levels likely running extremely high any recreational activity around the rivers should be curtailed — but we’ve had incidents in the past where kayakers consider these conditions a chance to experience “white water” only to find themselves overwhelmed and in need of rescue — so we’ll be on full alert all week.
Rapid melting and runoff is also notorious for creating ice jams which result from ice melting on the surface of the rivers that begins to break up into large chunks and accumulate around impediments such as bridges, dams, trees and bends in the channel creating potentially damaging forces on the structures as well as very unsafe conditions.
Below is the news release from the National Weather Service and I’ve also attached a summary from their NWS web site that summarizes what to expect in our area for the rest of this week.
NWS Cleveland – NOAA Service Account <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
The dramatic warm up along with rainfall expected over the next few days will result in rapid snow melt. All but snow piles are expected to melt off, including that in the snowbelt. Ice jams are likely to develop late this week as rivers swell. Minor flooding unrelated to ice jams is also possible.
Ice jams are very unpredictable and can cause unexpected water rises and falls. Please continue to share reports with the National Weather Service as conditions change.
The latest forecast for your location can be found by clicking on the map at www.weather.gov/cle.