Monday, February 21, 2011

Slow Meltdown...

And so winter's grip holds tighter after that stunning glimpse of spring last week. Any snow that falls here on out won't stay around long.

The Delaware River and its tribs rose quickly after that 70 degree day and it was all snow and ice melt. The river at Riegelsville is running around 6' which is almost double the flow of the previous week, but still a moderate level for this time of year.

That's a great sign for all those who dwell by the river. There's still lots of thick ice in the lakes, and clogging the big eddies of the Upper Delaware River, but it looks like the trend towards gradual thawing and melting will continue.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Locked Up in the Watershed...

The Delaware River is running at summertime levels (3.90 @ Riegelsville) and that is because most of the precipitation that has fallen over the last few months has been in the form of snow and ice.

The entire watershed is covered with snow and the river and its tributaries contain thick ice sheets. This is the classic set-up for the most wicked type of flooding that occurs on the Delaware River and elsewhere. The last such event was 1996 and it impacted the Lower Delaware and many tributary streams such as the Perkiomen Creek.

Even though conditions are perfect for flooding it could turn out that we'll see a gradual melt and thaw period with little rain. It's also possible that a two foot snow will hit us, followed by heavy rain and warm temperatures. The winter ice-jam floods can occur anytime between January and March.

Stay tuned.