Sunday, April 13, 2014

North Country Flood Threat Continues Today Through Wednesday

That big batch of rain I thought would be riding along a warm front into New York and Vermont was moving through, as scheduled Sunday morning.
Spring flooding blocked Route 7 in Milton, Vermont
in April, 2011. It remains to be seen if river levels
will get this high over the next few days.  

The northern thirds of these two states should get up to three quarters of an inch of rain today, though most places will get less than that.

But the rain, combined with warm temperatures and melting snow, should be enough to trigger minor flooding by evening.

The rain should slowly taper off, south to north today. In the meantime, you might even hear a few rumbles of thunder of this one.

This first round of flooding should be minor with fields, low roads and maybe a few basements getting flooded.

The overall forecast hasn't changed since yesterday. Very warm weather Monday, with temperatures well into the 70s, will cause rapid snowmelt from the mountains, keeping rivers high. And we're still expecting some pretty heavy rains Tuesday, which would really make rivers rise.

So, the flood watch continues now through Wednesday in northern New York and Vermont. As they stated yesterday, the National Weather Service in South Burlington does NOT expect anything along the lines of the Tropical Storm Irene Disaster of 2011.

But still, the water in rivers like the Chazy and Ausable in New York, and many rivers in Vermont could get higher than the usual spring lowland flooding.

If you live or work near these rivers, I'd continue to spend this rather rainy Sunday moving personal items, or if you own a business, backstock out of basements or other places where they could get damaged.

The flooding will continue into Wednesday as the runoff goes into the main stem rivers like the Lamoille and Winooski.

After the summer like warmth of Monday, we're in for one of winter's last gasps Tuesday night and Wednesday. I'm betting Vermont valleys will get a coating of snow, with mountains getting a few inches.

But spring will return later in the week with near normal temperatures in the 50s.

More to the west, heavy rain moved through Michigan last night (that's the burst of rain entering New England now) and more heavy rain was moving back into that state Sunday morning.   Flood warnings are up in much of Michigan, and a lot of rivers there will go over their banks today.

Actually, rough weather is in store for much of the nation today. Severe thunderstorms are likely in Tornado Alley, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. There will probably be a few tornadoes, but the biggest threat today is hail.  It seems like there's been a lot of nasty hailstorms in the nation this spring, and today could bring hail the size of baseballs to some areas.

Hail can be more destructive than tornadoes. For instance an intense hail storm that hit the St. Louis metro area in April, 2012 caused $1.6 billion (with a B) in damage.

Meanwhile, in Colorado, a snowstorm is brewing today. Expect around 5 inches of snow around Denver today.

And in much of New Mexico and West Texas, there's the threat of rangeland fires and local dust storms today.

I guess the wide variety of spring weather never quits, does it?

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