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Forecasters not worried about flooding for York County

Alyssa Pressler
505-5438/@AlyssaPressYD
  • There's not much concern for flooding as snow melts in York County.
  • Meteorologists are not concerned about ice jams in rivers either.

Though Winter Storm Stella dumped an average of 8 to 10 inches of snow on York County last week and was followed up with more snow Saturday evening, meteorologists are not concerned about flooding in the area.

A squirrel goes out on a limb to taste some snow toward the end of winter storm Stella in Springettsbury Township, Tuesday, March 14, 2017. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Barry Lambert, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service at State College, said there's always a chance after heavy snowfall for flooding, but after looking at the weather in York County for the next week he said he wasn't particularly concerned about flooding.

A large snowfall can create a false perception of how much water there is, he explained.

"Initially, when snow falls it looks like a lot, but there's a lot of air in it," Lambert said.

For 10 inches of snowfall, there's typically only 1 inch of a rainfall equivalent, he explained.

That means unless the York County area experiences major rainfall in the next week — which he does not anticipate — York County shouldn't see more than just a slight raise in the water levels of rivers and streams.

Another typical concern with snow melting is ice jams in rivers. When rivers or streams have pieces of ice in them and then experience an increased water level due to snow melting, it can create ice jams or build-ups. However, most of the waterways in York aren't frozen, so Lambert isn't concerned about that either.

"Really, it's the best we could have wished for after a big storm," he said.