Flooding risk, rain, snow, and ice ahead, after a couple of springlike days

Temperatures Thursday and Friday will range from the 40s as high as the upper 50s, but winter roars back to the Ithaca area this weekend after heavy rain brings a chance of localized flooding.

Rainfall map courtesy National Weather Service.

The National Weather Service in Binghamton has issued a flood watch for all of Central New York, with an inch and a half to two inches of rain likely throughout the area, from Thursday evening through Friday night.

Snow melting due to the high temperatures, followed by heavy rain, could mean a sharp rise in water levels in creeks and streams around the area, and thick ice breaking up could mean ice jams.

Ice jams create flooding risks along Cascadilla Creek. File photo courtesy of City of Ithaca.

The City of Ithaca has had significant problems with ice jams, especially early in 2016 and early in 2014, with creeks flooding as ice jams built up along bridges in low-lying areas of Fall Creek and Ithaca’s northside.

Starting Friday evening, several inches of snow is likely for the area, according to the National Weather Service, though they forecast higher snowfall to our north and west, and only about three inches for the Ithaca area.

Drew Montreuil of Finger Lakes Weather has higher snowfall totals through Saturday evening in his forecast, with accumulations up to two feet near Lake Ontario, and “widespread amounts of a foot or more” for the rest of the Finger Lakes. His preliminary snowfall map shows a foot for Ithaca. He stresses that “areas that see less snow will see more ice, so the threat for severe winter weather exists all across the area,” and warns that travel will be difficult across the region on Saturday.

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