Flood Potential Outlook
Issued by NWS Midland/Odessa, TX

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319
FGUS74 KMAF 030913
ESFMAF

101300-
HYDROLOGIC OUTLOOK
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MIDLAND/ODESSA TX
300 AM CST THU MAR 3 2016

...SPRING FLOOD OUTLOOK...

...FLOOD RISK IS NEAR TO SLIGHTLY ABOVE AVERAGE FOR THE FORECAST
AREA...

THE SPRING FLOOD POTENTIAL FOR THE WFO MIDLAND/ODESSA TEXAS DRAINAGE
AREA COVERING PORTIONS OF WEST TEXAS AND SOUTHEAST NEW MEXICO THAT
FLOWS INTO THE GULF OF MEXICO, IS NEAR AVERAGE BASED UPON CURRENT
ANTECEDENT CONDITIONS.  FOR THE SOUTHERN ROCKY MOUNTAINS, WHICH
INCLUDES THE SAN JUANS AND SANGRE DE CRISTOS, THAT DRAIN INTO THE
UPPER RIO GRANDE AND PECOS RIVER BASINS, SPRING FLOODING DRIVEN BY
SNOWMELT RUNOFF IS UNLIKELY AND NOT EXPECTED BASED ON THE CURRENT
SNOWPACK CONDITIONS.

THIS OUTLOOK CONSIDERS ANTECEDENT RAINFALL, SNOWPACK, SOIL MOISTURE,
STREAMFLOW, AND WATER SUPPLY CONDITIONS, COMPARED TO CLIMATOLOGY
COMBINED WITH LONGER-TERM 90-DAY CLIMATE OUTLOOK FORECASTS FOR
TEMPERATURES AND PRECIPITATION ACROSS THE FORECAST AREA.

THE PRIMARY FACTOR IN DEVELOPMENT OF SIGNIFICANT RIVER FLOODING OVER
MOST OF THE REGION IS THE OCCURRENCE OF EXCESSIVE RAINFALL IN
RELATIVELY SHORT PERIODS OF TIME, EVEN FOR AREAS WHERE DROUGHT
CONDITIONS PERSIST OR HAVE DEVELOPED.  IN ADDITION, THE MOUNTAINOUS
AREAS IN THE NORTHWEST PORTION OF THE FORECAST AREA CAN BE AFFECTED
BY RAPID SNOWMELT, USUALLY OCCURRING IN THE SPRING MONTHS.  THESE
MOUNTAINOUS AREAS OF SOUTHERN COLORADO AND NORTHERN NEW MEXICO CAN
RECEIVE SIGNIFICANT WINTER SNOWPACK ACCUMULATION.  THE MOST
SIGNIFICANT FACTORS FOR SPRING FLOODING IN MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN ARE
AMOUNT OF WATER IN THE SNOWPACK AND THE TIMING OF THE MELT, WHICH
COULD BE COMBINED WITH PERIODS OF HEAVY RAINFALL RUNOFF.  HOWEVER,
NORMAL WEATHER REGIMES PRODUCING RAPID SNOWMELT AND/OR HEAVY RAIN-ON-
SNOW EVENTS, STATISTICALLY HAVE A LOW PROBABILITY OF OCCURRENCE IN
THIS AREA EVEN DURING EL NINO DRIVEN WEATHER PATTERNS.  NEAR TO
ABOVE AVERAGE SNOWPACK IS CURRENTLY OBSERVED AND FORECAST WITHIN THE
SOUTHERN COLORADO AND NORTHERN NEW MEXICO MOUNTAINS.

THE GENERAL OUTLOOK FOR SPECIFIC BASIN AREAS IN THE REGION FOLLOW:

...UPPER RIO GRANDE BASIN OF COLORADO AND NEW MEXICO, AND PECOS
RIVER BASIN...

THE INFORMATION BELOW REFLECTS CONDITIONS FROM LATE FEBRUARY.  SINCE
THAT TIME, CONDITIONS ACROSS THE AREA REMAINED DRIER AND WARMER THAN
NORMAL DESPITE THE CLIMATE OUTLOOK INDICATING GREATER CHANCES FOR
WETTER, COOLER CONDITIONS.  DESPITE THE 30 AND 90 DAY CLIMATE
OUTLOOK INDICATING THIS TREND TO CONTINUE, PERSISTENCE OF THE
CURRENT DRIER, WARMER CONDITIONS IS ALSO POSSIBLE, WHICH WOULD ONLY
REDUCE POTENTIAL FOR SPRINGTIME FLOODING.  THAT GIVEN, THE POTENTIAL
FOR FLOODING FROM SPRINGTIME SNOWMELT IN THE UPPER RIO GRANDE AND
PECOS RIVER BASINS REMAINS LOW.

SNOWPACK CONDITIONS WITHIN THE UPPER RIO GRANDE AND PECOS RIVER IN
COLORADO AND NEW MEXICO ARE GENERALLY TRACKING NEAR TO JUST ABOVE
AVERAGE, WITH BEST CONDITIONS ALONG THE SANGRES IMPROVING SOUTHWARD,
WHERE WELL-ABOVE AVERAGE CONDITIONS EXIST ALONG THE SOUTHERN
SANGRES.  SNOW WATER EQUIVALENTS ARE ABOVE AVERAGE, 106 PERCENT OF
MEDIAN FOR UPPER RIO GRANDE BASINS IN COLORADO, AND 124 PERCENT OF
MEDIAN FOR COMBINED UPPER RIO GRANDE AND PECOS RIVER BASINS IN NEW
MEXICO. ALONG THE MIDDLE AND SOUTHERN SANGRES IN COLORADO AND NEW
MEXICO, THE SNOWPACK IMPROVES WITH A GENERAL RANGE FROM 130 TO 160
PERCENT OF NORMAL.

THESE SNOWPACK CONDITIONS WERE SUPPORTED WITH A REGULAR PATTERN OF
STORM SYSTEMS EARLY IN THE SEASON.  HOWEVER, THE PAST FEW WEEKS HAVE
BEEN EXTREMELY DRY IN CONTRAST.  RAINFALL RECEIVED WATER-YEAR-TO-
DATE IS ABOVE- TO WELL-ABOVE NORMAL WITH DECLINING CONDITIONS IN
JANUARY, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF A LATE MONTH STORM TRACK DROPPING
SIGNIFICANT SNOW AMOUNTS INTO THE FIRST FEW DAYS OF FEBRUARY,
RESCUING IT FROM AN OTHERWISE AVERAGE MONTH.  THE TIMING ON STORMS
ACROSS THE REGION WERE TRACKING NEAR NORMAL THROUGH DECEMBER, BUT
DECLINED SINCE THE NEW YEAR.  HOWEVER, THE EL NINO SIGNATURE IS
EXPECTED TO CONTINUE THROUGH THE SPRING, WHICH COULD SUPPORT
FAVORABLE BASIN CONDITIONS.  IT SHOULD NOTED THAT RAINFALL
ACCUMULATIONS OVER THE PAST YEAR WERE ABOVE NORMAL FOR THE FIRST
TIME IN SEVERAL YEARS ACROSS THE UPPER RIO GRANDE AND PECOS RIVER
BASINS.

CURRENT OBSERVED BASIN STREAMFLOWS ALONG THE MAINSTEM AND
TRIBUTARIES WITHOUT ICE IMPAIRMENT ARE NEAR TO ABOVE NORMAL.
RESERVOIR CONDITIONS ARE NEAR NORMAL AT 90 PERCENT OF AVERAGE IN
COLORADO AND WELL-BELOW NORMAL AT 41 PERCENT IN NEW MEXICO, ALTHOUGH
IMPROVED FROM LAST YEAR. ELEPHANT BUTTE  RESERVOIR IS 18% OF STORAGE
CAPACITY, UP FROM MORE THAN A MONTH AGO.  WFO MIDLAND/ODESSA TEXAS
HAS THREE RESERVOIRS ON THE PECOS RIVER.  BRANTLEY RESERVOIR, NORTH
OF CARLSBAD, NEW MEXICO, IS 84% OF STORAGE CAPACITY.  AVALON
RESERVOIR, BETWEEN BRANTLEY AND CARLSBAD, IS 95% OF STORAGE
CAPACITY.  JUST SOUTH OF THE NEW MEXICO STATE LINE, RED BLUFF
RESERVOIR IN TEXAS IS AT 91% OF STORAGE CAPACITY.

HISTORICALLY, MOUNTAINOUS SNOWPACK, PARTICULARLY IN THE HIGHER
ELEVATIONS, INCREASES INTO APRIL WITH ADDITIONAL STORMS, BUT RECENT
TRENDS INDICATE THE TIMING OF PEAK ACCUMULATIONS AND MELT-OUT ARE
OCCURRING UP TO 2 TO 4 WEEKS EARLIER.  HOWEVER, ANY ENHANCED
PRECIPITATION AND COOLER TEMPERATURES THROUGH MARCH CAN HELP PROVIDE
PROTECTION DESPITE POSSIBLE DUST-ON-SNOW AND WIND EVENTS THAT CAN
GREATLY REDUCE THE SNOWPACK.

BASED ON CURRENT SNOWPACK CONDITIONS, NEAR TO ABOVE AVERAGE
STREAMFLOW IS EXPECTED THIS SPRING AND THROUGHOUT THE SEASONAL
RUNOFF PERIOD.  SEASONAL STREAMFLOW FORECASTS FROM SNOWMELT RUNOFF,
WHICH REFLECT CURRENT SNOWPACK CONDITIONS, ARE NEAR- TO ABOVE-
NORMAL, RANGING FROM 103 TO 116 PERCENT OF NORMAL FOR BASINS IN
COLORADO AND UP TO 148 PERCENT IN NEW MEXICO.  FORECASTS ARE HIGHEST
ACROSS THE PECOS RIVER BASINS, RANGING FROM 143 TO 164 PERCENT.  THE
POTENTIAL FOR SIGNIFICANT FLOODING FROM SPRINGTIME SNOWMELT IN THE
UPPER RIO GRANDE AND PECOS RIVER BASINS REMAINS LOW FOR THE MAINSTEM
AND ASSOCIATED TRIBUTARIES DESPITE THESE HIGHER THAN NORMAL SNOWPACK
CONDITIONS, ALTHOUGH LOCALIZED, MINOR DIURNAL FLOODING COULD BE
POSSIBLE.

DESPITE THE WARMER, DRIER WEATHER EXPERIENCED OVER THE PAST 2 WEEKS,
THE CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER EXTENDED 90-DAY CLIMATE OUTLOOKS
INDICATE GREATER CHANCES FOR BELOW NORMAL TEMPERATURES AND ABOVE
AVERAGE PRECIPITATION. THIS WOULD SUPPORT FURTHER SNOWPACK
ACCUMULATION AND COULD HELP MITIGATE EARLY SNOWMELT, ESPECIALLY FOR
NEW MEXICO.

THE U.S. DROUGHT MONITOR HAS NO DROUGHT CONDITIONS CURRENTLY
DESIGNATED FOR THE UPPER RIO GRANDE AND PECOS RIVER BASINS IN
COLORADO AND NEW MEXICO, WHICH IS CONSIDERABLE IMPROVEMENT FROM THE
MODERATE TO SEVERE CONDITIONS A YEAR AGO.  THE U.S. SEASONAL DROUGHT
OUTLOOK INDICATES NO EXPECTED DEVELOPMENT OF DROUGHT CONDITIONS
ACROSS THESE AREAS IN THE NEXT 90 DAYS.

...UPPER COLORADO RIVER BASIN AND RIO GRANDE OF WEST TEXAS...

THE POTENTIAL FOR SIGNIFICANT SPRING FLOODING OVER THESE BASIN AREAS
IS NEAR AVERAGE AT THIS TIME.

IN THE PAST 60 DAYS, MOST OF THESE BASINS HAVE RECEIVED NEAR AVERAGE
RAINFALL RANGING FROM 75 OF NORMAL ALONG PORTIONS OF THE RIO GRANDE
TO 200 PERCENT OF NORMAL IN SOME AREAS OF THE UPPER COLORADO RIVER
BASIN.  CURRENT BASIN STREAMFLOWS ARE NEAR TO ABOVE AVERAGE SEASONAL
BASEFLOW BASED ON THE LATEST USGS STREAMFLOW INDEX. RESERVOIR
STORAGE IN THE UPPER COLORADO RIVER BASIN IS SEVERELY LOW.  J. B.
THOMAS RESERVOIR WAS THE EXCEPTION AT 71% OF STORAGE CAPACITY, DUE
TO A COUPLE OF HEAVY RAINFALL EVENTS OVER THE PAST COUPLE OF YEARS.
MOSS CREEK RESERVOIR WAS AT 52% CAPACITY, NATURAL DAM SALT LAKE AT
49%, COLORADO CITY AT 28%, AND CHAMPION CREEK AT ONLY 23%. TOTAL
STORAGE IN WFO MIDLAND/ODESSA TEXAS` 8 RESERVOIRS WAS 61% OF
TOTAL CONSERVATION STORAGE CAPACITY.  THE U.S. DROUGHT MONITOR
INDICATES A MAJOR IMPROVEMENT IN CONDITIONS DUE IN PART TO LATE
SPRING AND EARLY FALL RAINS IN 2015.

THE U.S. SEASONAL DROUGHT OUTLOOK FOR THE NEXT 90 DAYS INDICATES
SHORT-TERM DROUGHT PERSISTENCE IN WEST TEXAS AND SOUTHEAST NEW
MEXICO.  EXTENDED 90-DAY CLIMATE OUTLOOKS INDICATE A 50 PERCENT
CHANCE OF ABOVE AVERAGE PRECIPITATION AND 40 PERCENT CHANCE OF BELOW
AVERAGE TEMPERATURE.  THE POTENTIAL FOR SPRING FLOODING IS EXPECTED
TO BE NEAR OR SLIGHTLY ABOVE AVERAGE OVER THE NEXT 90 DAYS.

REFERENCES/LINKS:




PRECIPITATION ANALYSIS:


HTTP://WATER.WEATHER.GOV/PRECIP/

HTTP://WWW.HPRCC.UNL.EDU/MAPS.PHP?MAP=ACISCLIMATEMAPS



SNOWPACK CONDITIONS:


HTTP://WWW.WCC.NRCS.USDA.GOV/REPORTS/SELECTUPDATEREPORT.HTML

HTTP://WWW.WCC.NRCS.USDA.GOV/FTPREF/GIS/IMAGES/

WEST_SWEPCTNORMAL_UPDATE.PNG

HTTP://WWW.WCC.NRCS.USDA.GOV/FTPREF/DATA/WATER/WCS/GIS/MAPS/

WESTWIDESWEPERCENT.PDF



STREAMFLOW CONDITIONS:


HTTP://WATERDATA.USGS.GOV/NWIS/RT

HTTP://WWW.DWR.STATE.CO.US/SURFACEWATER/DEFAULT.ASPX



RESERVOIR SUMMARIES:


HTTP://WWW.WCC.NRCS.USDA.GOV/BASIN.HTML

HTTP://WWW.WATERDATAFORTEXAS.ORG/RESERVOIRS/STATEWIDE



SOIL MOISTURE CONDITIONS:


HTTP://WWW.CPC.NCEP.NOAA.GOV/PRODUCTS/SOILMST_MONITORING/US/SOILMST/

SOILMST.SHTML



US DROUGHT MONITOR AND OUTLOOK:


HTTP://DROUGHTMONITOR.UNL.EDU/

HTTP://WWW.CPC.NOAA.GOV/PRODUCTS/EXPERT_ASSESSMENT/SEASON_DROUGHT.PNG



TX DROUGHT INFORMATION:


HTTP://WATERDATAFORTEXAS.ORG/DROUGHT/



CLIMATE GRAPHICS:


HTTP://WWW.CPC.NOAA.GOV/

HTTP://WWW.CPC.NOAA.GOV/PRODUCTS/PREDICTIONS/LONG_RANGE/LEAD01/

OFF01_TEMP.GIF

HTTP://WWW.CPC.NOAA.GOV/PRODUCTS/PREDICTIONS/LONG_RANGE/LEAD01/

OFF01_PRCP.GIF

$$

DEBERRY

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