•Freezing Rain Advisories in effect for Sullivan, Ulster,Dutchess,Delaware,Columbia,Orange,Putnam,Rockland,Westchester and Greene Counties (See weather alerts on top of website for details)
•Flood Watch in effect for the entire region (See weather alerts on top of website for details)
•Areas of freezing rain develop overnight between 10PM-1AM, areas of slick travel are possible
•Increasing temps will change all precipitation to rain before daybreak
•Rain tomorrow, heavy at times in the afternoon will lead to flooding concerns due to:
-Ice jams on streams,creeks and rivers
-Increased runoff due to frozen ground
-Rainfall amounts of 1-2 inches coupled with snow melt
•Rain tapers off Sunday
Precipitation will begin to break out across the region from SW to NE, between 10PM and 1AM. With temperatures in parts of the region below freezing, a period of freezing rain is possible. This will lead to areas of slick travel overnight tonight, elevated surfaces will likely be the first to freeze, as well as untreated surfaces and side roads. After midnight temperatures will begin to warm, changing any remaining precipitation over to rain before sunrise tomorrow. Tomorrow scattered light rain in the morning will become a steady, heavier rain during the afternoon and evening, leading to increased flooding concerns. Lack of snow cover and a prolonged period of sub freezing temps have allowed the ground to freeze quite deep, and therefore rendering it unable to absorb most of the rainfall. In return this will not only increase the runoff into nearby creeks and streams, but also force water to follow the path of least resistance, into places typically not effected by flooding.
The second concern is from the abnormally large amount of ice build up in most rivers and streams, the combination of rapid rising water levels and warmer weather will allow ice to break up and flow downstream, this can lead to ice jams. Ice jams are unpredictable and their effects are rapid, they can cause sharp rises in water levels and flood areas above the jam, and also flood areas downstream when they do break free. If you live along water, please be aware of the signs of an ice jam and have a plan of what to do if one were to form. Most rivers and streams will experience within bank rises, therefore the flooding threat will be isolated to areas impacted by runoff flooding,blocked drainage or ice jams. By Sunday, the mild temps will continue but the rain will taper off,giving the region the ability to both thaw out, and dry out as we head into next week. After we get through this warm stretch and heavy rain spell, we will start to look ahead for signs of winters possible return, seeing how most schools have exhausted or nearly exhausted their snow days, lets hope the second half of this winter doesn’t have as much in store for us as the first half has.