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WT Staff

Wednesday, June 5, 2024
Streamflows trend lower

June 5, 2024 updated 432 pm EDT

WT USA Flows and Flood Tracker provisional data from the network of USGS streamflow monitors

One hundred and thirty-two floodings are active on the USA network Wednesday afternoon, approximately double the sixty-seven from this morning. Twenty of these floodings are occurring now in Louisiana. USGS streamflow gauges in flood are on a delay uploading the provisional data. Here is what we know now.

Watershed Region 1: Bayou Bodcau Lake and Caddo Lake are flooding near Shreveport and Mooringsport, respectively. Bayou Dorcheat continues to flood near Springhill. To the south into Region 4 watershed, border river Sabine floods near Logansport, runs within a foot of flood stage in action stage near Burkeville, flooding near Bon Wier and near Ruliff. East Region 4 Calcasieu River floods in the upper channel near Glenmora and downstream near Oberlin station. To the east, Region 5 watershed Mermentau River flooding at Mermentau and Vermilion Bay is flooding at Cypremort Point. See black tags indicating flood flow volume and gauge height, blue tags for 99th percentile flows updated daily here.

Current Streamflows from the network of USGS river monitors in NYS
The drying trend continues overnight, a larger area of NYS coming up with below normal and much below normal volumes in the creeks and rivers draining the interior west and north. By midweek, northeast drainage basin is predominantly below the seasonal normal water levels, this is now impacting the Lake Champlain watershed with Ausable, Salmon and Chazy systems in Clinton County running lower than the 25th percentile. Mohawk River watershed is trending down, the daily release from Delta Dam is no longer providing that single much above normal flow reading we saw last week in NYS. As of this report, the highest flows recorded in the USGS network for NYS is an above normal rating, 85th percentile on the Neversink River, a tributary of the Delaware River. The normal rating is the rating with the greatest range of measurements, all flows from the 25th to the 75th percentile are considered seasonal normal. When more of the state's flow monitors are signalling below normal than normal, this indicates a general drying trend that will be felt through the watershed area.

The current streamflow map indicates the trend in moisture conditions, based on the moisture shed off the surface area into the water bodies in each of NYS seventeen watersheds. When the cycle of evapo-transpiration and precipitation is insufficient to maintain volume in the streams, creeks, rivers and reservoirs, there are many knock-on effects we can observe and follow for better understanding. Current streamflow readings are averaged over a running one-week interval to indicate drought status of surface area. A drought rating is given: below normal, moderate, severe or extreme hydrologic drought as the 7-day average is compared to the seasonal normal for that area. The drought rating is applied to an entire watershed or part of a watershed. WT readers can apply the watershed and directional arrows layers on the map to the right to see the extreme low flow events as they register in a given watershed, showing the drinking water advisories, HABs and hazardous spills confirmed in that same impact zone. The map and its tagged water events is the backdrop for New York's daily water story. As of this report, there are no active flooding events recorded in NYS, nor any high flows, nor flows above the 90th percentile. Four stations signal extreme low flow level. See the red-brown tags on the map to the right for daily water volume and depth updates.

Drought Map
Lake Ontario minor tributaries west section in Niagara, Orleans and west Monroe Counties retains the status of moderate hydrologic drought Wednesday. This is the driest part of NY today. The Upper Hudson River watershed is back on the drought map after a brief absense, rejoining the St. Lawrence River at below normal rating. In the southwest, Allegheny River watershed has cleared Chautauqua County from the below normal rating reported here yesterday and added the surface area of Cattaraugus County, rated below normal today. This watershed is the only surface area of New York that contributes water flow to the Mississippi River and Gulf of Mexico. In the west interior, Oswego River-Finger Lakes watershed holds on the below normal status another day. Yesterday we urged the reader to watch for HAB reports coming soon to the drought rated watersheds. Indeed the first HAB reports have now been confirmed and posted in the Finger Lakes, the first two reports of the season apply to Cayuga Lake, appearing in the northwest.

HABs Tracker
from National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science satellite monitoring program
from NYS Department of Environmental Conservation HAB Notifications

The eight HAB reports confirmed and published here yesterday afternoon on seven NY water bodies remain overnight with no additions as of this notice. Cayuga Lake became the first Finger Lake to develop a HAB this season with two active reports of the eight in the state. One HAB is confirmed in a drinking water reservoir in the south, Sullivan County, Delaware River watershed. Active HABs are tagged in bluegreen on the map to the right. Plan your beach time for clear access to the water, avoid contact with HAB mats. If you spot a suspicious algal bloom, which may appear as spilled paint in the water, use the on-line form here.

NCCOS uploads new satellite photos of Lake Champlain on a near-daily basis. The latest image was captured June 4 at unknown surface wind speed. This image is cloud obscured, so we refer to the June 3 capture, a clear image of Lake Champlain indicating no discernable HAB activity. Note that low or moderate concentration blooms may not be visible in the imaging and high wind speed can submerge any HAB mats present. HABs were last documented on April 26 in Lake Champlain, see the HAB Tracker report here for a description of the locations, extent and concentration of those HABs.

As many drinking water facilities are supplied from surface water reservoirs, the streamflow situation is pertinent to both drinking water supply and quality. High flows can stir up sediment and cause turbidity in the reservoirs, requiring additional treatments to render the water potable. Low flow volume is linked to warmer temperatures in the reservoir and can be an issue for water quality where HABs are present. WT tracks streamflow trends with an eye to the impacts on drinking water supply and quality in each of the state's watersheds. Check the watershed layer on the map to see the direction of flow and streamflows that may be impacting drinking water today.

USGS Provisional Data Statement
Data are provisional and subject to revision until they have been thoroughly reviewed and received final approval. Current condition data relayed by satellite or other telemetry are automatically screened to not display improbable values until they can be verified.
Provisional data may be inaccurate due to instrument malfunctions or physical changes at the measurement site. Subsequent review based on field inspections and measurements may result in significant revisions to the data.
Data users are cautioned to consider carefully the provisional nature of the information before using it for decisions that concern personal or public safety or the conduct of business that involves substantial monetary or operational consequences. Information concerning the accuracy and appropriate uses of these data or concerning other hydrologic data may be obtained from the USGS.

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