Significant rain and snowfall in recent months have not been enough to prompt any increased concern of spring flooding, according to the National Weather Service (NWS) in Morristown.
The NWS released the 2013 Spring Flood Potential Outlook this morning for East Tennessee, Southwest Virginia and extreme Southwestern North Carolina.
The annual outlook outlines current river and soil moisture conditions and highlights potential situations that would induce flooding or worsen drought.
For spring 2013, the NWS said that flood potential is average, defining this expectation by past and current conditions of snow, precipitation, temperatures, drought and other criteria.
In the past 30 days, conditions have been marginally dry, with precipitation that has generally been only 50 to 85 percent of average, the weather service said. Only a few places have received near-normal precipitation within this period.
The scenario has been much different for the past 60 days, with precipitation generally above normal.
A few locations, including Greene County, received nearly twice the normal amount of precipitation for that period, because of the fact that late January and early February were very wet. The rest of February into early March has been somewhat dry.
However, the precipitation this week has been helpful, and another potentially significant rainfall is possible early next week, the NWS said.
February was a little cooler than normal after a very mild December and a mild January.
March has gotten off to a very cold start, with average temperatures roughly 8 to 10 degrees below normal during the first week.
However, a warmer-than-normal weekend is ahead. Overall, temperatures for the past 90 days have averaged about 2 degrees above normal.
NO DROUGHT, MOISTURE OK
None of the area currently has a drought designation, and soil moisture conditions are near normal, thanks to regular precipitation events since mid-January.
Streamflows are running much above normal, the report said.
Across the lower Clinch and Powell basins of Tennessee, streamflows are currently well above normal.
For the rivers whose headwaters are in Western North Carolina (such as the French Broad, Nolichucky, Upper Pigeon, Little Tennessee and Hiwassee rivers) streamflows are also well above normal.
The second week of March shows higher probabilities for conditions that are cooler and drier than normal.
The climate outlook for the full month shows no discernible trend for the temperature forecast, although overall precipitation may be above normal.
The longer-term climate outlook for March through May indicates good chances for above-normal temperatures.