Turbulent Weather Across America

Mighty Ohio Rising This Weekend

Another turbulent week of weather across America is coming to an end but one thing for sure, our weather has been tame compared to other states.

Take the drenched state of Tennessee. Our volunteer friends to the south had twice as much rain (2”-4”) and wind (tornadoes) as we did during this latest winter storm that powered through Appalachia. Officially, winds gusted to 45-50 miles per hour locally (as measured by anemometers at Yeager and Tri-State airports).

The hospitable staff at Snowshoe tells me the winds were so ferocious in the high country of Pocahontas County that the ski lifts had to be shut down for a few hours on Friday morning. Can you imagine the force of the wind at Cupp Run and Shay’s Revenge as 65 mile per hour winds blasted the Western Territory slopes?

In the snow department, Snowshoe measured a measly inch in Friday’s snow showers compared to the mountains out west where the Sierra Nevada of California including the high country east of LA are in the midst of a 1 to 2 foot snowstorm.

Speaking of snow, melting snow showers may be seen around the Golden Gate Bridge where a rare inch or two of snow looks to coat the hills around ‘Frisco by Saturday’s first light.

As for this last weekend of February, I am calling for a two day moratorium from storminess with a semi-bright and brisk Saturday to be followed by grey, cool and showery Sunday.

On the Ohio River, the 1”-4” rainfall that fell across the entire 981 mile stretch and tens of thousands of square miles of the basin this week foretells of an ominous spring high water season ahead.

This weekend there will be nuisance high water on the mighty Ohio with rises to within 5 feet of flood stage on average from the Belleville and Racine pools up north through the Byrd, Greenup and Meldahl pools here in the Mid-Ohio Valley.

Look for a steady stream of high and silty water to flow downstream into next week. Tributary flooding will be common as waters on streams like the Guyandotte River, Symmes and Big Paddy Creeks, and Little Sandy and Scioto Rivers are repelled by the rising Ohio.

You can track the crest of high water along our rivers all spring long by using this neat link produced by the hydrologists at the National Weather Service.

http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=rlx

Just click on the river location of your choice and an easy to read hydrograph will pop up.

Given the wave train of storms expected in March (which I will predict to be a top 10 wettest on record), it is an easy forecast to say the mighty Ohio is likely to go into flood at least once in the month ahead. Hello March Lion!
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