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FGUS71 KCAR 182043
ESFCAR
MEC003-009-019-021-025-029-252045-

WINTER/SPRING FLOOD POTENTIAL OUTLOOK
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CARIBOU ME
343 PM EST THU FEB 18 2021

..SPRING FLOOD POTENTIAL OUTLOOK FOR NORTHERN... CENTRAL...AND 
DOWNEAST MAINE...

THIS IS THE FOURTH WINTER/SPRING FLOOD POTENTIAL OUTLOOK FOR 2021, 
ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN CARIBOU, MAINE. THIS 
OUTLOOK IS FOR NORTHERN, CENTRAL, AND DOWNEAST MAINE FOR THE TWO- 
WEEK PERIOD OF FEBRUARY 18TH TO MARCH 4TH, 2021.

THE FLOOD POTENTIAL FOR OPEN WATER FLOODING IS SLIGHTLY BELOW 
NORMAL ACROSS THE ENTIRE REGION. THE FLOOD POTENTIAL DUE TO ICE 
JAMS IS NEAR NORMAL ACROSS THE NORTHERN MAINE RIVERS, WHILE THE 
CENTRAL AND DOWNEAST REGION IS BELOW NORMAL.

...CLIMATOLOGICAL GUIDANCE... 
TEMPERATURES FOR THE FIRST HALF OF FEBRUARY AVERAGED BETWEEN 1 TO 3 
DEGREES ABOVE NORMAL. PRECIPITATION RANGED FROM 0.30 TO 0.90 INCHES
ABOVE NORMAL ACROSS THE NORTH, WITH THE BANGOR AREA APPROXIMATELY 
0.10 INCHES BELOW NORMAL OVER THE PAST TWO WEEKS. 

THERE WERE TWO PRECIPITATION EVENTS DURING THE PAST TWO WEEKS IN 
FEBRUARY. THE FIRST BROUGHT BETWEEN 3 TO 5 INCHES, MAINLY OVER 
WASHINGTON COUNTY, WITH 1 TO 3 INCHES THE REMAINDER OF THE AREA. 
A SIGNIFICANT WINTER STORM BROUGHT BETWEEN 6 TO 10 INCHES OF SNOW TO 
NORTHERN AREAS ON FEBRUARY 16TH. CENTRAL AND DOWNEAST AREAS EXPERIENCED
BETWEEN 2 TO 6 INCHES OF SNOW AND SLEET, ALONG WITH AROUND 0.10 INCHES 
OF FREEZING RAIN ON THE COAST. 

A FAIRLY ACTIVE WEATHER PATTERN IS EXPECTED OVER THE NEXT TWO
WEEKS WITH A MAJORITY OF THE SYSTEMS PASSING TO THE SOUTH OF THE
REGION. THERE IS THE POSSIBILITY THAT A STORM SYSTEM COULD BRING
SOME PRECIPITATION IN THE FORM OF SNOW TO THE NORTHERN AND CENTRAL
AREAS EARLY NEXT WEEK, WHILE THE DOWNEAST REGION COULD SEE A 
WINTRY MIX. THIS ALL DEPENDS ON THE STRENGTH AND TRACK OF THIS 
SYSTEM. 

THE OFFICIAL NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE 6 TO 14 DAY OUTLOOK IS CALLING
FOR ABOVE ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES AND NEAR TO SLIGHTLY ABOVE NORMAL
PRECIPITATION.

...OBSERVED SNOW DEPTH AND WATER EQUIVALENTS...
SNOW DEPTHS RANGED BETWEEN 16 TO 26 INCHES ACROSS NORTHERN AND 
NORTHWEST MAINE, WHILE THE MAINE CENTRAL HIGHLANDS RECORDED 12 TO
20 INCHES OF SNOW DEPTH. CHIMNEY POND, LOCATED IN THE BAXTER 
STATE PARK REGION, CAME WITH AN INCREDIBLE 35 INCHES OF SNOW ON 
THE GROUND. AS OF 8 AM THIS MORNING, THE NWS OFFICE IN CARIBOU HAD
A 18 INCH SNOW DEPTH, WHILE FORT KENT IN THE ST. JOHN VALLEY CAME
IN WITH 26 INCHES OF SNOW ON THE GROUND. BANGOR INCREASED ITS 
SNOW DEPTH TO 9 INCHES. 

SNOW DEPTHS CONTINUE TO RUN BELOW NORMAL ACROSS MOST OF THE 
AREA, THOUGH EASTERN REGIONS ARE NEAR TO SLIGHTLY ABOVE NORMAL. 

THE SNOW WATER EQUIVALENT, OR THE AMOUNT OF WATER CONTAINED IN 
THE SNOWPACK, RANGED FROM 3.4 TO JUST OVER 5 INCHES ACROSS 
NORTHERN AND NORTHWESTERN AREAS. THE NWS IN CARIBOU RECORDED A 
SNOW WATER EQUIVALENT OF 3.4 INCHES, WITH THE HIGHEST SNOW WATER 
EQUIVALENT OF 5.3 INCHES MEASURED NEAR PORTAGE. 

SNOW WATER EQUIVALENTS ACROSS THE MAINE CENTRAL HIGHLANDS INTO 
THE DOWNEAST REGION, INCLUDING THE COAST, RANGED FROM 2 TO 4 
INCHES. 

SNOW WATER EQUIVALENTS CONTINUE TO BE BELOW NORMAL FOR THIS TIME 
OF YEAR, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE PENOBSCOT VALLEY INTO DOWNEAST,
AS SNOW WATER EQUIVALENTS ARE SLIGHTLY ABOVE NORMAL.

...SOIL MOISTURE AND WATER SUPPLY CONDITIONS...

THE LATEST PALMER DROUGHT SEVERITY INDEX, WHICH MEASURES SOIL 
MOISTURE IN THE LONGER TERM, CONTINUED TO SHOW NEAR NORMAL 
CONDITIONS.

A LOOK AT THE GROUNDWATER LEVELS, COURTESY OF THE USGS, SHOWED
NEAR TO SLIGHTLY ABOVE NORMAL ACROSS NORTHERN AND NORTHWEST AREAS.
FORT KENT CONTINUES TO REPORT GROUNDWATER LEVELS TO BE WELL ABOVE
NORMAL FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR. EXISTING SNOWPACK IS AVAILABLE FOR 
RECHARGE, ESPECIALLY ACROSS THE INTERIOR SECTIONS OF THE REGION. 

...RIVER AND ICE CONDITIONS...

RIVER FLOWS WERE NEAR NORMAL ACROSS MUCH OF THE REGION, WITH THE
EXCEPTION OF THE ST. CROIX RIVER BASIN, WHERE FLOWS WERE NEAR TO 
SLIGHTLY BELOW NORMAL.

TEMPERATURES AVERAGED BELOW NORMAL FROM FEBRUARY 8TH THROUGH THIS
MORNING, WHICH ALLOWED RIVER ICE TO EXPAND IN COVERAGE ACROSS THE
AREA. MOST OF THE STREAMS AND RIVERS ACROSS THE REGION ARE SNOW 
AND ICE COVERED, ESPECIALLY FROM THE PISCATAQUIS RIVER BASIN 
NORTHWARD TO THE ST. JOHN AND AROOSTOOK RIVER BASINS. ALTHOUGH, 
THERE ARE SECTIONS OF OPEN WATER.

NORTHERN MAINE RIVERS WERE PRETTY MUCH ICED OVER WITH SOME OPEN
WATER IN SOME SPOTS WHERE THERE IS GOOD RIVER FLOW, SUCH AS NEAR 
ASHLAND AND UP NEAR THE FORT KENT REGION. ICE THICKNESSES RANGED 
FROM 12 TO 18 INCHES ACROSS THE ALLAGASH AND ST. JOHN RIVERS, 
WHILE 10 TO 14 INCHES OF ICE EXISTS ACROSS THE AROOSTOOK RIVER. 
THE FISH RIVER HAD EXPANDED IN ICE COVERAGE, BUT THERE WAS A GOOD 
STRETCH OF OPEN WATER IN THE FORT KENT REGION. ICE THICKNESS WAS 
ESTIMATED TO BE 8 TO 12 INCHES.

THE PENOBSCOT RIVER WAS ICED IN AROUND THE BANGOR REGION FOR
APPROXIMATELY 3 MILES, INCLUDING WHERE THE KENDUSKEAG STREAM 
JOINS THE PENOBSCOT. OPEN WATER WAS NOTED NORTH TOWARD THE OLD 
TOWN AREA, WITH SOME OPEN AREAS AS FAR NORTH AS THE MILLINOCKET 
AREA. THE EAST BRANCH OF THE PENOBSCOT RIVER AT GRINDSTONE WAS 
ICE COVERED WITH SOME OPEN STRETCHES TO THE SOUTH. ICE THICKNESS 
WAS MEASURED BY THE USGS TO BE AROUND 8 INCHES AT GRINDSTONE, AND
ALONG THE STRETCH OF KENDUSKEAG STREAM MEETING UP WITH THE 
PENOBSCOT RIVER AT BANGOR. THE PISCATAQUIS RIVER FROM BLANCHARD TO
DOVER-FOXCROFT WAS ICE COVERED WITH SOME OPEN SECTIONS ALONG THE 
SIDES, WHILE SOME OPEN WATER WAS NOTED TOWARD THE MEDFORD REGION. 
THE USGS MEASURED ICE THICKNESSES OF 7 TO 10 INCHES ON THE 
PISCATAQUIS RIVER ALONG THE STRETCH FROM BLANCHARD TO DOVER-FOXCROFT.

THERE ARE SOME ICE JAMS REMAINING IN PLACE. ONE BUNCHED UP JAM 
RESIDES ON THE AROOSTOOK RIVER FROM JUST EAST OF CARIBOU TO THE 
FORT FAIRFIELD BRIDGE. THIS JAM IS APPROXIMATELY 7 MILES IN 
LENGTH. THE JAM REMAINS BROKEN UP IN SPOTS ALONG THIS STRETCH. A 
SMALL BUNCHED UP JAM REMAINS IN PLACE NEAR THE TOWN OF CROUSEVILLE
ON THE AROOSTOOK RIVER. THERE IS ANOTHER SMALL, BUNCHED UP JAM 
THAT REMAINS IN PLACE ON THE ST. JOHN RIVER, JUST SOUTH OF LILLE 
TO THE TOWN OF KEEGAN. FINALLY, AN ICE JAM WAS NOTED ON THE 
ALLAGASH RIVER NEAR THE BRIDGE WHERE THE ALLAGASH RIVER MEETS THE 
ST. JOHN RIVER. 

DESPITE THE ICE COVERAGE EXPANDING OVER THE LAST TWO WEEKS, ICE 
COVERAGE AND THICKNESSES REMAIN BELOW NORMAL FOR THIS TIME OF 
YEAR. 

...IN CONCLUSION...

THE FLOOD POTENTIAL FOR OPEN WATER FLOODING IS SLIGHTLY BELOW NORMAL
ACROSS THE ENTIRE REGION. THE FLOOD POTENTIAL DUE TO ICE JAMS 
REMAINS NEAR NORMAL FOR THE NORTHERN MAINE RIVER BASINS. THE FLOOD
POTENTIAL FOR ICE JAM FLOODING ACROSS THE PISCATAQUIS AND 
PENOBSCOT RIVER BASINS IS BELOW NORMAL FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR.

IT IS IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THAT A HEAVY RAINFALL EVENT ALONG 
WITH MILD TEMPERATURES CAN LEAD TO AN INCREASED POTENTIAL FOR 
FLOODING WITH SNOWMELT AND RUNOFF. ICE BREAKING UP AND JAMMING CAN
ELEVATE THE THREAT FOR FLOODING IN A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME. 

THE NEXT WINTER/SPRING FLOOD OUTLOOK WILL BE ISSUED ON THURSDAY, 
MARCH 4TH.

$$

FARRAR/HEWITT

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  National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
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