WEST MICHIGAN (March 18, 2014) — Major flooding this season has been on a lot of people’s minds. Particularly because we’ve got a frozen ground with plenty of snow that occurred this winter and we’re entering the time of possible heavy Spring rains.
Just a couple of weeks ago we had almost two feet of snow on the ground with a liquid equivalent in that snow of more than five inches (of water). A perfect recipe for heavy rain to come along and create some serious flooding. That said, the National Weather Service in Grand Rapids today took a core sample from the only six inches of snow left on the ground (at their office). They report only 1.8 inches of liquid water is left in that snow. That’s great news! While it doesn’t mean we’re out of the flooding woods yet, the slow melt off has helped substantially. Gradual warm-ups, then cool downs, then warm-ups, then cool downs. This back and forth effort from Mother Nature is far better than one big extended warm up.
We do have a few counties under flood advisories for specific river points such as Ionia County for the Grand River at Ionia. Kent County for the Grand River at Comstock Park. And Barry County for the Thornapple River above Hastings. We’ll need to continue to monitor these areas in particular, but as long as our warm-ups are slow and steady, and not huge, we may just transition in to the Spring with no major flooding issues. Here is the hydrologic discussion from the National Weather Service on their afternoon update Tuesday:
THE EXTENDED PERIOD OF COLDER THAN NORMAL TEMPERATURES AND LACK OF SIGNIFICANT SPRING RAINS HAVE WORKED IN OUR FAVOR TO LIMIT THE AMOUNT OF WIDESPREAD FLOODING THAT COULD BE OCCURRING RIGHT NOW. AFTER RELATIVELY MILD WEATHER THIS WEEK…BELOW NORMAL TEMPERATURES RETURN THIS WEEKEND AND INTO AT LEAST EARLY NEXT WEEK…SO THE MAIN OPPORTUNITY FOR SUBSTANTIAL SNOW MELT WILL OCCUR OVER THE NEXT FEW DAYS. TRENDS WILL BE MONITORED…AND IT IS POSSIBLE THAT A FEW SITES WILL NEED FLOOD WARNINGS WITHIN THE NEXT 5 TO 7 DAYS (IE. ALONG THE GRAND…RED CEDAR…AND MAPLE RIVERS). THAT BEING SAID…WIDESPREAD SIGNIFICANT FLOODING IS NOT CURRENTLY IN THE FORECAST.
It looks like very little appreciable rain/snow the next several days, but temperatures are expected (once again) to take a nosedive in to the weekend. Get the complete forecast at www.fox17online.com/weather.