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Water Supply Flood Potential Outlook

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Flood Potential Outlook
National Weather Service, ABRFC, Tulsa, Oklahoma
1500 CST, Wednesday, February 29, 2012

                          COLORADO 
                -- ARKANSAS RIVER BASIN--
		
The Rocky Mountains

The potential for flood conditions will be near normal this spring.
Flooding at most forecast points in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado
is driven by rapid snowpack runoff or isolated, high-intensity
rainfall.

As measured at high altitude Snotel monitoring stations, the 
mountains of the Arkansas River basin have experienced approximately
97 percent-of-average precipitation and have accumulated 91 percent 
of average snowpack this water year (a more detailed table is 
included below).  In the opinion of the ABRFC these totals are not
entirely indicative of the current conditions in the basin.  Weather
patterns this winter have brought snow to the western slopes of the 
front range but have not transported moisture much beyond the divide.
This has resulted in snotel measurements that may approximate an 
average year while an abnormal percentage of the basin remains in a 
water deficit. At the end of January, mountain reservoirs in the 
Arkansas River basin were, on average, at 72 percent of capacity.  
This represents 122 percent-of-average storage and 104 percent of 
last year's storage.


    S N O W  -  P R E C I P I T A T I O N    U P D A T E
 
        Based on Mountain Data from NRCS SNOTEL Sites
              As of Friday: February 24, 2012
-------------------------------------------------------------------
BASIN             ELEV. SNOW WATER EQUIVALENT   TOTAL PRECIPITATION
Data Site Name   (Ft)                      %                      % 
                       Current  Average  Avg  Current  Average  Avg
-------------------------------------------------------------------

ARKANSAS RIVER BASIN

APISHAPA         10000       M   6.0      73    9.8     8.7     113
BRUMLEY          10600     5.4   7.4      73    8.3    10.0      83
FREMONT PASS     11400     9.5  12.4      77    9.7    11.7      83
PORPHYRY CREEK   10760     9.5  12.1      79    8.4    11.4      74
SOUTH COLONY     10800    12.8  13.9      92   16.9    18.4      92
WHISKEY CK       10220     9.2   7.8     118   10.3    11.6      89
                                        -----                  -----
         Basin wide percent-of-average    91                     97
	  
Units = inches for the Current and Average Snow Water Equivalent
	and Total Precipitation values

The Climate Prediction Center (CPC) outlooks for winter and early
spring (MAR-APR-MAY) indicate increased chances (33%-40%) of above
normal temperatures in all of southeast Colorado.  The chances of 
above-normal temperatures increase (40%-50%) southward toward the New
Mexico border. The precipitation outlook for the same period 
indicates strongly increased chances (40%-50%) of below-normal 
precipitation in almost all of southeastern and central Colorado. 
 
The U.S. Drought Monitor of February 21 indicates that moderate to 
severe drought conditions currently dominate the Arkansas River basin
in Colorado. The US Seasonal Drought Outlook of February 16
indicates drought-related conditions are expected to persist or 
intensify over the next 3 months.

Current estimates from the CPC indicate soil-moisture in most of 
southeastern Colorado approximates normal conditions with
soil moisture between the 30th to the 70th percentiles. A small area
in the southeast corner of the state is experiencing dry conditions
with soil moisture in the 10th to 30th percentiles.


The ESP model does not indicate a greater than 50 percent chance of
flooding at any forecast point.  The table below contains a summary
of the most probable maximum stages from the model output.

            Colorado Ensemble Streamflow Prediction
               As of Wednesday: February 22, 2012
                 Feb 22 - Jun 20 50% Exceedence
						    Weekly
      
	     Flood         50% exceedence    	50% exceedence
  Station  Stage(ft)     Maximum Stage (ft)     Maximum Stage (ft)
------------------------------------------------------------------
 Leadville     9.0		  6.6		       6.4
 Salida        8.0		  4.1		       4.0
 Wellsville    9.0		  5.5		       5.3
 Parkdale      9.0		  4.5		       4.4
 Canon City   10.0		  7.6		       7.3
 Portland      9.0		  4.2		       4.0
 Pueblo        8.0		  6.6		       6.1


The Southeastern Plains

The potential for flood conditions will be near normal this spring.
Normal conditions for southeastern Colorado reflect a low probability
of flooding.

Visible satellite images and NOHRSC estimates indicate only a 
light snowpack in the plains of southeast Colorado. The observed
snowpack does not extend much more than 50 miles east of the
mountains. The current plains snowpack is not expected to be 
hydrologically significant with regard to spring flooding. As 
discussed above, except in the southeast corner of the state, soil 
moisture approximates normal conditions. Soil moisture is below 
normal in the southeast corner of the state.  

The Arkansas River is generally flowing at normal levels with 
isolated stations reporting below-normal conditions. Many of the 
tributaries to the Arkansas are at below-normal flows. Fountain Creek 
is flowing at normal to below-normal levels.
 
The ESP model does not indicate any probabilities of flooding
greater than 50 percent. The table below shows the probability of
flooding during the next 120 days at 4 forecast points in the plains
of southeast Colorado.

             Colorado Ensemble Streamflow Prediction
               As of Wednesday: February 22, 2012

Fcst Point    % Probability    % Probability      % Probability
Station      Minor Flooding  Moderate Flooding     Major Flooding
ID
ARCC2          Not Expected     Not Expected      Not Expected
LXHC2             30                  6                  4
LAPC2             12                  5                  4
LMAC2              4                  3                  2

As indicated above, drought related conditions are hitting the 
Arkansas River valley harder than the remainder of the state. The
conditions worsen as you move south and east across the plains. 
Moderate drought is affecting the mountains but gives way to severe
droughtin the southeast corner of the state. 


   *******************************************************
   *                                                     *
   *   This, and additional Water Supply Information,    *
   *         can be found on our Web Page at:            *
   *                                                     *
   *    www.srh.noaa.gov/abrfc/WaterSupply/index.php     *
   *                                                     *
   *******************************************************


		NEW MEXICO -- CANADIAN RIVER BASIN

The potential for spring flooding for northeastern New Mexico is
normal. Normal conditions in northeast New Mexico reflect a low
probability of flooding. Flooding in New Mexico is generally driven
by rapid snowmelt runoff or high-intensity rainfall.  There are
currently no indications of extreme hydrologic conditions to alter
the flood potential of the area.

The Sangre De Cristo Mountains mark the headwaters of the Canadian
River in New Mexico. These mountains have experienced about 104
percent-of-average precipitation this water year.  They have
accumulated 96 percent-of-average snowpack (a more detailed table
is included below). Water-year-to-date (October 1 to present)
precipitation is below average across northeastern New Mexico.  
Isolated areas are near average but the area is dominated by 
widespread water-year totals less than 75 percent-of-average.  
 
          S N O W  -  P R E C I P I T A T I O N    U P D A T E
              Based on Mountain Data from NRCS SNOTEL Sites
                    As of Tuesday: February 28, 2012
------------------------------------------------------------------
BASIN             ELEV. SNOW WATER EQUIVALENT  TOTAL PRECIPITATION 
Data Site Name    (Ft)                    %                      %
                       Current  Average Avg  Current  Average  Avg
------------------------------------------------------------------
SANGRE DE CRISTO MOUNTAIN RANGE BASINS

 CULEBRA #2     10500     9.3    10.2    91      8.2    10.2    80
 GALLEGOS PEAK   9800     8.8     9.3    95     12.7    11.1   114
 NORTH COSTILLA 10600     3.2     4.5    71      9.7     9.4   103
 RED RVR PASS #2 9850     6.8     6.5   105      8.9     7.6   117
 TOLBY          10180     7.3     6.3   116     10.8     9.6   112
 TRINCHERA      10860     7.5     7.8    96      8.5     8.8    97
 WESNER SPGS    11120    12.1    12.3    98     16.0    14.4   111
                                       -----                 -----
       Basin wide percent-of-average     96                    104

Through the late winter and early spring (MAR-APR-MAY), the Climate
Prediction Center (CPC) outlooks indicate significantly increased
chances (40-50%) of above-normal temperatures. The outlooks also 
indicate significantly increased chances (40%-50%) of below-normal 
precipitation in the mountains and plains of northeast New Mexico 
during that same period.

Visible satellite imagery and snow cover models from NOHRSC show no 
significant snowpack in the plains of northeast New Mexico. Soil 
moisture in northeastern New Mexico was well below normal at the end
of January. Soil moisture was between the 5th and 20th percentiles in
the area and decreased towards the southeast. The Canadian River is 
flowing at well below-normal rates (<10th percentile) in the plains. 
No similar data is available in the mountain headwaters.  At the end
of January, Conchas Reservoir contents were at 6 percent of capacity 
and 71 percent of last year. Contents of Eagle Nest Reservoir were at
49 percent of capacity and 75 percent of last year.
 
The U.S. Drought Monitor of February 21 indicates that severe drought
conditions dominate the Canadian River headwaters at this time. The 
CPC's US Seasonal Drought Outlook of February 16 calls for drought
conditions to persist or intensify over the next three months.

A summary of some potential maximum stages from the ESP model output
are presented in the table below.

 
                 New Mexico Ensemble Streamflow Prediction
                    As of Wednesday: February 22, 2012
                      Feb 22 - Jun 20 50% Exceedence

                                                           Weekly          
                      Flood	 50% exceedence      50% exceedence
  Station            Stage(ft)  Maximum Stage (ft)  Maximum Stage(ft)
---------------------------------------------------------------------

 
Vermejo R @Dawson      9.0           4.3                 3.7
Cimarron R @Cimarron   5.0           1.4                 0.6
Mora R @Golondrinas    5.5           1.7                 1.4
 

   *******************************************************
   *                                                     *
   *   This, and additional Water Supply Information,    *
   *         can be found on our Web Page at:            *
   *                                                     *
   *    www.srh.noaa.gov/abrfc/WaterSupply/index.php     *
   *                                                     *
   *******************************************************


			SOUTHERN KANSAS

The potential for flood conditions in southern Kansas will be normal
this spring. Most flooding in Kansas is directly related to specific
precipitation events. Most hydrologically relevant conditions in
southern Kansas reflect long-term normals.

Rainfall during the current water year has been variable across
southern Kansas. Much of central and western Kansas has received 
125-200% of average precipitation.  Isolated areas have received
even more.  Only southeastern Kansas has considerable areas below
average with significant areas below 75 percent-of-average for the
water year. 

Soil moisture conditions in south-central Kansas are approximating 
long-term normals.  In the southwest and southeast corners of the 
state soil moisture is below normal with conditions reflecting less
than the 30th percentile for soil moisture.

Streamflows in western and central Kansas are generally below normal
with flow rates between the 10th and 24th percentiles. Southeastern
Kansas is dominated by near normal streamflows with the exception of
below-normal flows (10th-24th percentile) in the extreme southeastern
corner of the state. 

Reservoir storage in southern Kansas is approximating design
conditions.  U.S. Corps of Engineers data indicate that Corps
reservoirs currently have an average of 101 percent of their flood 
control storage available.

The Climate Prediction Center's (CPC) three month (MAR-APR-MAY)
outlooks call for increased chances (33-40%) of above-normal
temperatures for the western half of southern Kansas. Chances are 
greatly increased (40%-50%) in the eastern half of southern Kansas.
The outlooks indicate increased chances (33-40%) of below-normal 
precipitation in the southwestern quarter of the state.  There are 
equal chances of above-normal, normal, and below-normal precipitation
across the remainder of southern Kansas. 

The U.S. Drought Monitor of February 21 indicates moderate to 
exceptional drought conditions dominate southern Kansas at this time.
The southwest corner of the state is the driest with widespread
extreme drought conditions. Moderate to severe drought is pervasive
across the remainder of southern Kansas. The US Seasonal Drought 
Outlook of February 16th indicates the drought across southern Kansas
can be expected to persist or intensify during the next three months.
The only glimmer of hope was an indication that southeastern Kansas
may see some improvement but drought conditions are likely to 
continue.

The table below displays the probability of flooding for selected
Dodge City forecast points. Current model output indicates that 
chances of minor flooding in western Kansas are low (< 15%).

                   Select Points in Western Kansas
               Kansas Ensemble Streamflow Prediction
                   As of Wednesday: February 22, 2012

Fcst. Point	% Probability	   % Probability      % Probability
Station	        Minor Flooding    Moderate Flooding   Major Flooding
ID
COOK1                 3                 2             Not Expected
BETK1                 3           Not Expected        Not Expected
ENWK1                13                 3             Not Expected
RCNK1           Not Expected      Not Expected        Not Expected
ZENK1                 8                 4                  2
DDCK1                 2           Not Expected        Not Expected



The table below presents some south-central and southeast Kansas
forecast points where the ESP model indicates a greater than 10%
chance of minor flooding.  These are not extreme conditions and do
not reflect an above-normal potential for flooding.

        Select Points in South-central and Southeast Kansas
               Kansas Ensemble Streamflow Prediction
                As of Wednesday: February 22, 2012

Fcst. Point	% Probability	   % Probability      % Probability
Station         Minor Flooding    Moderate Flooding   Major Flooding
ID
AGAK1               14                  3             Not Expected
AGSK1               17                  6                  1
ALMK1               20                 16                  2
ALTK1               18                 14             Not Expected
ARCK1               29                 11                  2
ARKK1               20                  7                  2
ATOK1               20                  4             Not Expected
BLPK1               16                  9                  4
CBNK1               40            Not Expected        Not Expected
CFVK1               21                  7             Not Expected
CNUK1               29                 15             Not Expected
COWK1               22             Not Expected       Not Expected
CTWK1               29                 19             Not Expected
DRBK1               17                  3                   2
EREK1               34                 30                  18
EDWK1               18                 11                   6
FLRK1               40             Not Expected       Not Expected
FRNK1               28                  8             Not Expected
HTDK1               16                  8             Not Expected
IDPK1               31            Not Expected        Not Expected 
IOLK1               25                  5             Not Expected 
MDKK1               25                  7             Not Expected
MULK1               18                  4             Not Expected
OSWK1               46                 32                  8
OXFK1               28                 11                  3
PECK1               16                  2             Not Expected
PPFK1               49                 39             Not Expected
PLYK1               31                 12             Not Expected
SEDK1               17                  9                   7
TOWK1               18                 10             Not Expected
WFDK1               29                 20                   7
AMCK1               18                 14             Not Expected
EMPK1               37                 24             Not Expected
EPRK1               29                 25             Not Expected
NEOK1               29                 24             Not Expected 
LYRK1               12                 12             Not Expected
   *******************************************************
   *                                                     *
   *   This, and additional Water Supply Information,    *
   *         can be found on our Web Page at:            *
   *                                                     *
   *    www.srh.noaa.gov/abrfc/WaterSupply/index.php     *
   *                                                     *
   *******************************************************


			SOUTHWEST MISSOURI
			
The potential for flood conditions in southwestern Missouri will be
near normal this spring. Most flooding in southwest Missouri is
related to specific rainfall events.  Therefore, current conditions
do not necessarily indicate an increased or decreased risk of spring
flooding.

Rainfall during the current water year has been below average with 
widespread estimates of 75-90 percent-of-average.

Through the late winter and early spring months (MAR-APR-MAY), the
Climate Prediction Center's (CPC) outlooks for southwestern Missouri
call for significantly increased chances (40%-50%) of above-normal 
temperatures. CPC's outlooks call for equal chances (33%) of above
normal, below-normal, and normal precipitation during the same time 
period.

Soil moisture in southwestern Missouri is currently normal with 
conditions reflecting the 30th to 70th percentiles. Stream flow in 
that part of the state is near to slightly below normal for this time
of year.

The U.S. Drought Monitor of February 21 indicates most of 
southwestern Missouri is not experiencing any drought conditions.
There is an exception of a small area in the extreme southwest 
corner of the state that is abnormally dry. CPC's US Seasonal Drought
Outlook of February 16th calls for no change in drought-related 
conditions over the next 3 months.


   *******************************************************
   *                                                     *
   *   This, and additional Water Supply Information,    *
   *         can be found on our Web Page at:            *
   *                                                     *
   *    www.srh.noaa.gov/abrfc/WaterSupply/index.php     *
   *                                                     *
   *******************************************************


				ARKANSAS 
 
The potential for flood conditions in western Arkansas will be near
normal this spring. Flooding in western Arkansas usually occurs in
response to specific precipitation events.  However, the Arkansas
River may flood in response to more widespread upstream conditions.
There are currently no indications of extreme hydrologic conditions
to alter the flood potential of the area.

Water-year precipitation totals across western Arkansas have
generally been near to above average ranging from below 100 percent 
of normal to 200 percent-of-average.  The northeast and southeast 
corners of the state are exceptions to this pattern. Both have 
experienced near average to below average rainfall this water year 
receiving between 50 percent to 100 percent-of-average precipitation. 

The Climate Prediction Center (CPC) outlooks for the spring (MAR-APR-
MAY) are calling for equal chances of above-normal, normal, and
below-normal precipitation. They also call for significantly increased 
chances (40-50%) of above-normal temperatures across the state.

Soil moisture in northwest Arkansas is generally well above normal. 
with soil conditions reflecting the 70th to 90th percentile for the
end of January.  Corps of Engineers projects in southwestern Arkansas
and are approximating design conditions.  They have almost all
their flood control storage available. Streamflows in western 
Arkansas are near to slightly below normal. 

The U.S. Drought Monitor of February 21 indicates western Arkansas is 
generally not experiencing drought related conditions at this time. 
The extreme southwest corner of the state is an exception and is 
currently experiencing abnormally dry conditions. The CPC US Seasonal 
Drought Outlook of February 16 indicates there should be no change in
drought conditions over the next 3 months.
 

   *******************************************************
   *                                                     *
   *   This, and additional Water Supply Information,    *
   *         can be found on our Web Page at:            *
   *                                                     *
   *    www.srh.noaa.gov/abrfc/WaterSupply/index.php     *
   *                                                     *
   *******************************************************

 
				OKLAHOMA 
				
The potential for flood conditions in Oklahoma will be near normal
this spring. Flooding in Oklahoma usually occurs in response to
specific precipitation events. There are currently no indications of
extreme hydrologic conditions to alter the flood potential of the
area.
 
Water-year rainfall totals vary across Oklahoma but generally bracket
the long-term averages.  The only large area of extreme data is in the
northeast corner of the state. Rainfall totals there are between 50
and 90 percent-of-average over a fairly large area.  Immediately to
the west of that area is an area of slightly above-average 
precipitation totals that climbs to 200 percent-of-average just east
of the panhandle.

The Climate Prediction Center's (CPC) outlooks for the spring (MAR-
APR-MAY) call for equal chances (33%) of above-normal, normal, and
below-normal precipitation in most of Oklahoma. The outlook calls for
increased chances (33%-40%) of below-normal precipitation in the 
panhandle. CPC's temperature outlook calls for significantly 
increased chances (40%-50%) of above-normal temperatures across the
state.  

Soil moisture across the state of Oklahoma is currently reflecting
normal conditions with moisture values in the 30th to 70th 
percentiles. There is a small pocket of slightly above-normal soil 
moisture in the southeast corner of the state.  The panhandle and 
extreme western Oklahoma currently have soil moisture conditions that
are below normal reflecting the 10th to 30th percentiles of long term
data for the end of January.  

Streams and rivers in Oklahoma are running at normal to below-normal
levels across most of Oklahoma.  The Red River and its tributaries
are experiencing extremely low flows that are below the 10th 
percentile of long term data for this time of year.  Southeast
Oklahoma is also below average but is closer to the long term normals
with flows between the 10th and 24th percentiles. Streamflow 
conditions improve as you move north through the state with normal 
(25th-75th percentile) conditions dominating the northern half of the
state.  Conditions in the panhandle are more like those of the upper
Red River.

Reservoirs in Oklahoma are approximating design conditions and have
103 percent of their flood control storage currently available. 
 
The U.S. Drought Monitor of February 21 indicates that Oklahoma is
experiencing a wide variety of drought related conditions.  The 
southeast and eastern portions of the state are not experiencing 
drought conditions.  However, the remainder of the state is 
experiencing moderate to exceptional drought conditions.  The worst
areas are in the panhandle and in isolated pockets of extreme drought
across the western two-thirds of the state.  Between these pockets 
are widespread areas of moderate to severe drought.  The CPC US 
Seasonal Drought Outlook of February 16 indicates there should be no
change in drought-related conditions in the southeast and extreme 
eastern parts of the state. The western two-thirds of the state are
not so fortunate and the outlook calls for persistent or intensifying
drought conditions for the next three months. 
 

   *******************************************************
   *                                                     *
   *   This, and additional Water Supply Information,    *
   *         can be found on our Web Page at:            *
   *                                                     *
   *    www.srh.noaa.gov/abrfc/WaterSupply/index.php     *
   *                                                     *
   *******************************************************
 
				TEXAS 
 
The potential for flood conditions in north Texas will be near
normal this spring. Flooding in north Texas usually occurs in
response to specific precipitation events.  There are currently no
indications of extreme hydrologic conditions to alter the flood
potential of the area.

Water-year precipitation totals across the Red River basin vary from
below average to above average but in aggregate approximate average 
rainfall in the basin. Precipitation in the panhandle has varied as 
well.  Widespread areas are well above average for the year with a 
local maximum approaching 200 percent-of-average.  Other areas in the
panhandle have been less fortunate and have only gotten about 75 
percent-of-average. Once again, in aggregate the precipitation for
the water year is approximating normal conditions. 

Streamflows in the panhandle and the Red River valley are showing the
affects of the long-term drought.  Flows in the panhandle are 
generally below normal with isolated stations reporting near normal 
flows.  Stations along  the Red River are also well below normal with
flows below the 10th percentile of long term observations for this 
time of year.   

The Climate Prediction Center's (CPC) outlooks for the next three
months (MAR-APR-MAY) call for equal chances (33%) of above-normal,
below-normal, and normal precipitation along the Red River Valley
in north Texas.  The outlooks call for increased chances (33%-40%) of
below-normal precipitation in the panhandle. The chances increase 
towards the west and are 40%-50% at the New Mexico border. CPC's 
temperature outlook calls for significantly increased chances 
(40-50%) of above-normal temperatures across all of north Texas and
the Texas panhandle.
 
Soil moisture conditions at the end of January vary widely and 
abruptly across north Texas and the panhandle.  Soils in the Red
River valley across north Texas are normal and are between the 30th
to 70th percentiles of the long term data.  The panhandle on the
other hand is experiencing fairly severe drought and the soil 
moisture shows it.  Moisture estimates are between the 5th and 20th 
percentiles across the panhandle. 

The U.S. Drought Monitor of February 22 shows moderate to exceptional
drought in the panhandle and the western reaches of the Red River.  
A small area of north Texas in the Red River valley from Lake Texoma 
to Ingold is shown as not experiencing any drought conditions at this 
time. The CPC US Seasonal Drought Outlook of February 16 mimics the
Drought Monitor.  The areas not currently experiencing drought 
conditions are not expected to see a change, those areas currently
experiencing drought-related conditions are expected to see those
conditions persist or intensify over the next 3 months. 
 
   ******************************************************* 
   *                                                     * 
   *   This, and additional Water Supply Information,    * 
   *         can be found on our Web Page at:            * 
   *                                                     * 
   *    www.srh.noaa.gov/abrfc/WaterSupply/index.php     * 
   *                                                     * 
   ******************************************************* 
   
   
Thanks to the USGS for streamflow condition data, the U.S. Army Corps
of Engineers for reservoir condition data, the Natural Resource
Conservation Service for SNOTEL data, and the Climate Prediction
Center for the precipitation and temperature outlooks, the soil
moisture deficits, and the Drought Outlook.

$$

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