Warmer than normal temperatures and the associated snowmelt will result in elevated water levels across the watershed over the next several days.
Unseasonably warm temperatures will accelerate the melting of the remaining snowpack over the next several days, resulting in quick runoff into streams and rivers. Snow surveys conducted on March 15th were highly variable across the watershed. While much of the agricultural fields contained only trace amounts of snow, wooded areas and open fields that have intercepted drifting snow still hold between 30 to 70mm of water in the snowpack.
In addition, widespread rainfall is expected to move through the watershed this weekend, with forecast amounts of 15 to 20mm between Friday and Saturday. As the ground will be saturated from ongoing snowmelt, increased runoff can be expected.
Risk of ice jams remains low, as much of the river ice has already broken up and moved downstream, and any remaining shelf ice has been significantly weakened.
Flows will remain high over the next several days and rivers could reach or slightly exceed bank-full conditions. While significant flooding is not expected at this time, seasonal flooding in traditional low-lying areas will likely occur. Municipal and County staff should check local problem areas and be prepared for closures of low-lying roads. Residents are reminded to stay away from all watercourses. Elevated water levels, fast flowing water, weakened ice, and slippery stream banks will create hazardous conditions near all waterways.
This statement will remain in effect until 4:30 AM on Monday, March 21, 2022, unless local conditions warrant further updates. SVCA will continue to closely monitor watershed conditions.