ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Back in mid-January, snowstorms were the big talk in weather for the Twin Tiers. Now, concerns for flooding are rising as rainfall and higher temperatures arrive later this week.
Weather forecasters around the area and from the National Weather Service (NWS) in Binghamton, NY are predicting a half an inch to one inch of rainfall possible by Thursday. Given the snow and ice accumulations piled on the rivers, the additional rainfall and rising temperatures could create flooding problems for traveling, especially on roads near the rivers.
“We might lose all the snowpack around the area,” said Ted Champney, meteorologist at NWS in Binghamton. “This could add up to another inch of snow melt.”
According to NWS, much of western New York, including Buffalo, issued a flood watch lasting from Wednesday evening to Friday evening. Despite the current flood watch and forecasts regarding rain and snow melt, there is still uncertainty on how bad the floods in the Twin Tiers could be.
“The flooding is still uncertain at this point,” Ted added. “Tomorrow, we’ll have a better look at it. We might put a flood watch out at that point.”
Ted Champney also added that ice jams could likely be present when the rain comes. This can result in chunks of floating ice building up near river bends, points where the river slope decreases, and upstream of bridges or obstructions. The water that is held back may cause flooding or flash flooding upstream. If
the obstruction suddenly breaks then flash flooding may occur downstream.
For more details on flooding and other forecasts this week, check out the 18 Storm Team.