Flood notice issued with warm wet weather and cold snowy conditions in the forecast
A flood notice has been issued for Niagara with warm weather settled over the region, and more rain in the forecast for tonight.
The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority releasing it's Watershed Conditions Statement – Flood Outlook this afternoon saying Niagara and portions of Hamilton and Haldimand are currently experiencing unseasonably warm weather that has increased runoff to local creeks due to snow melt.
The warm air will remain in place until noon on Friday when it will be replaced by a sharp cold front.
Officials say there will be a significant threat for precipitation in the range of 20 to 30mm that will begin late this evening and continue until the arrival of the cold air when the rain should transition to snow.
The amount of precipitation combined with saturated ground and continued runoff from snowmelt will result in higher than normal water levels and flows within local creeks and rivers.
At the present time, all watercourses are below critical thresholds and the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority does not expect any major flooding.
However localized flooding, typical of low lying areas, may be experienced.
Smaller water courses like 4 Mile Creek in Niagara-on-the-Lake and the upper reaches of 12 Mile Creek in Pelham are rising due to runoff while, larger watercourses like 20 Mile Creek and the Welland River will start to respond later today and will remain elevated through the weekend.
Water level increases will depend on the amount of precipitation received over the next 24 hours.
The NPCA will continue to monitor stream and weather conditions closely and will issue further messages as required.
The increasing runoff and water levels will start to destabilize the ice and raise the possibility of ice jam flooding.
Residents are urged to keep themselves, children and pets off and well away from streams and creeks as these watercourses and associated ice conditions will be hazardous.
Drivers are reminded there is an increased risk of water over roads and should not drive through any flooded roadway, being particularly careful at night.
Local municipalities are advised to check for debris and ice clogging culverts, catch basins, and other storm infrastructure.
This notice is in effect until noon Sunday, January 14th, 2018 and will be updated as required.