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Current weather conditions not yet warm enough to prompt break-up

by Lorien Nettleton ~ April 17th, 2013

The River Forecast Center for the National Weather Service says that under current conditions the Susitna River is at low risk of break-up flooding.

According to the hydrology forecast, a rapid warming-up causing significant snowmelt is unlikely in the next two weeks. Temperatures state-wide have been below normal for the first part of April, causing little runoff from snow melt. The River Forecast Center says that the most important factor determining the severity of breakup remains the weather during April and May. Dynamic breakups with a high potential of ice jam flooding typically require cooler than average temperatures for most of April followed by an abrupt transition to warm summer-like temperatures in the 60s and 70s in late April into early May.

Another factor that could influence spring flooding, according to the National Weather service, are higher levels of groundwater caused by extensive rainfall across south-central last. These areas are more susceptible to minor flooding and drainage issues in the
event of a rapid warmup.

River forecasts and break-up conditions can be found at the National Weather Service’s Alaska-Pacific River Forecast Center’s website.

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