NOAA'S NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PROVIDES
TWO-DAY LEAD FOR NORTHEAST FLOODING - AIDS
IN PLANNED EVACUATIONS
April 4, 2005 - A storm over the central Gulf coast states on April 1 was no April fool’s joke. Strengthening as it moved toward the East Coast, the storm later produced heavy rain, snow, high winds, and severe thunderstorms across a large area from the Carolinas to New England.
Flood watches were issued by 16 National Weather Service Forecast Offices in Eastern Region two days before the ravaging rain started and were instrumental in planned evacuations along affected rivers, which included the north branch of the Susquehanna River in central New York and north central Pennsylvania as well as the main steam of the Delaware River.
The Northeast and Middle Atlantic River Forecast centers were in operation twenty fours hours a day to support operations and collaborate with NOAA’s Hydrometeorological Prediction Center and the NWS Eastern Region Operations Center.
According to Peter Gabrielsen, hydrologic services division chief of the NWS Eastern Region, the north branch of the Susquehanna River crested at Vestal, N.Y., posting 28 feet on Sunday evening at 10 p.m. It is the second highest level ever recorded at that river location. The record crest at Vestal is 30.5 feet set on March 19, 1936.
On the Delaware River, the river crested at Tock Island on April 4, at 10 a.m., posting a flood level of 33 feet - the highest level since the last flood in 1955. “Throughout Monday, flooding can be expected along the lower Delaware river from Easton to New Hope, Penn., down to Trenton, N.J.,” said Gabrielsen. “The Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service has also helped issued timely and accurate river forecasts for the Delaware and Susquehanna rivers during this event,” he continued.
Six to twelve inches of snow were common across northeast Ohio, northwest Pennsylvania and western New York, with a few locations receiving between 15 and 20 inches of snow.
According to John Guiney, meteorological services division chief of the NWS Eastern Region, “Strong storms can produce snowfall even into the spring season. While the calendar says it’s spring, mother nature has its own ideas.”
Sustained winds of 35 to 45 mph with gusts up to 60 mph were reported Saturday and Sunday across the mountains of western North Carolina, western Virginia, eastern West Virginia and western Maryland. Reports of toppled trees and power lines were received by the NOAA National Weather Service as a result of such strong winds.
Marcie Katcher, NOAA National Weather Service: (631)244-0149
Related Web sites:
NOAA’s National Weather Service: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/
Latest river information, flood warnings, statements: http://weather.gov/rivers_tab.php