NOAA 99R208
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Patrick Slattery
1/25/99

WEATHER SERVICE STRESSES CAUTION IN FLOOD-PRONE AREAS

With considerable snow covering much of the Midwest and central United States, the National Weather Service urges residents to stay alert to possible flash floods for the next several days.

"Snow cover that originated from the New Year's weekend blizzard and subsequent storms is likely to be melted quickly by warmer temperatures and rainstorms over a large area," Weather Service Central Region Director Richard Augulis said from his Kansas City office. "Our forecast offices are staying on top of this situation and will keep the public advised of developing flood threats. The same new technology that helped us do so well in the New Year's blizzard will help us determine where major flood problems are likely to develop."

Weather Service forecasters in eastern Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, northern Indiana, lower Michigan and southern Wisconsin are keeping close tabs on precipitation forecasts and the impact on snowpack ranging from 5-22 inches, Augulis said, and the public should not take the situation lightly.

"I would encourage residents to pay close attention to NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts from our offices and to local broadcast media to stay abreast of the situation," he said. "Our meteorologists and hydrologists will keep them informed every step of the way until the flood potential has passed."

Augulis said residents in flood-prone areas could find tips on flood safety preparations on the world wide web at http://www.nws.noaa.gov/pa. "This is an unusual situation for January," he said, "and we don't want people to be caught off guard."