When Spring Weather Thaws Winter Snow Rapidly
Warm Temperatures Can Result In Early Flooding
Although flooding is typically associated with extreme rainy weather events, there are other causes. A higher than normal snowpack in mountainous regions provides much-needed moisture to the ground. However, should the temperature in April be warmer than usual, it can trigger an early or rapid thaw. When this occurs, rivers and streams fill to capacity and may flood.
How Spring Runoff Occurs
Each Spring, as the weather in April warms, it causes snow in higher elevations to melt. The melting snow, which converts to water, pours off of the hills by gravity to where it ‘runs off’ as drainage into ponds and lakes. The process is known as freshet and when warming trends are early or last longer than normal, the melting snow creates a flood risk at the lower elevations.
Other Spring Flooding Risks
When the temperature in April stays cool, water surfaces on rivers freeze. The flow of water underneath the frozen surface can push the ice and pack it so tightly downstream that it creates an ice jam. With warmer weather in Spring, ice jams begin to break up and often create a blockage that water cannot penetrate which results in flooding from the backed up water.
There is a reason why we say April showers bring May flowers. That is because Spring tends to include heavy rains. Early season rainstorms can cause rivers already at capacity from the freshet to crest, which results in flooding. Storm drains may backup and erosion from heavy rain can damage riverbanks which also increases the risk of flash flooding.
How To Prepare For A Flood
You can do several things to protect your property from a flood caused by Spring thaw. Ensure that your sump pump is working properly. Inspect your basement for cracks that may allow water to enter. Repair these as soon as you can. Also, check that drainage moves water away from your home and sandbag or shore up spots around your property that pose the greatest risk.
Follow WeatherBug For Instant Weather Alerts
Another way to prepare your home in case of flooding is to stay turned to weather forecasts. Weather alerts can give you the warning you need about changes to your local weather. With WeatherBug, you will know what to expect for the weather forecast in April. Find us at www.weatherbug.com or download our app from your favorite app store.