Watershed Conditions Statement (Flood Outlook) – Feb. 22

The Hamilton Conservation Authority (HCA) is advising that significant increases in water levels and flows in the area watercourses may occur as a result of forecasted rain and melting snowpack on Saturday and Sunday (February 23 and 24).  Localized watercourse flooding of low-lying areas that typically flood during higher water levels is also possible.

However, significant watercourse flooding is not expected at this time.

HCA wishes to remind residents to exercise caution near all water bodies and structures such as bridges, culverts and dams at this time.  Elevated water levels, faster moving water, rapidly changing levels and flows, unsafe ice, and slippery banks may pose a significant hazard.  Adults are advised to keep children and pets away from water bodies at this time.

According to local weather forecasts, partial melting of the snowpack is expected over the weekend, with daytime high air temperatures of 3 degrees Celsius on Saturday and 10 degrees Celsius on Sunday. In addition, the Hamilton area is anticipated to receive 5 to 15 mm of rain Saturday, with an additional 5 to 10 mm of rain possible if thunderstorm activity occurs.  On Sunday, another 1 to 5 mm of rain is expected. 

The forecasted snowmelt and rainfall could result in significant amounts of runoff, which will be exacerbated by the partially frozen / saturated soil conditions within the watershed. 

Also, ice breakup in the watercourses could possibly occur, which may result in localized flooding concerns in low lying areas.

Flows and water levels in area watercourses are currently near baseflows to slightly elevated, and no flooding has been reported, observed, or expected at present conditions. 

A close watch on local conditions and weather forecasts is recommended.  HCA continues to monitor watercourse and weather conditions closely.

This Watershed Conditions Statement (Flood Outlook) message is in effect until Tuesday, February 26, 2019, at which time it will either be updated or cancelled. HCA will issue updates prior to February 26 as warranted.

Jonathan Bastien
Water Resources Engineering
Phone: 905-525-2181 Ext. 138 jbastien@conservationhamilton.ca