PENNSYLVANIA, USA — It’s time for another Weather Rewind, where we look back at this past week’s weather with a twist!
This week, we look back at a powerful storm system that brought torrential rains and flooding to northern Peru.
Usually, we have to keep an eye on flooding concerns here in central Pennsylvania as we transition to the spring.
Check out this incredible footage of the flooding left behind by the storm.
It shows the devastation flood waters left behind in two hard-hit towns.
Roads were washed out, leaving drivers stranded.
Hundreds of homes and crops were destroyed, and at least six people are dead.
The Peru government declared a state of emergency and is providing humanitarian aid to the areas hit badly by the storm.
Here in central Pennsylvania, springtime is when we start to see an uptick in flooding concerns—and for a few reasons.
Let’s take a look.
It all boils down to snowpack.
The more snow heading into the spring, the more you must watch heavy rains.
Snowpacks can melt before a heavy rain, lowering the amount of water it takes to cause flooding—whether it’s the ground or roads in poor drainage and urban areas.
Lingering snow piles can also block drains, leaving water with nowhere to go.
Too much snow melt in too little time can drain into nearby creeks, streams and rivers—increasing water levels before a big rain.
This gives us a higher risk of river or creek flooding.
Multiple rains in a short amount of time can amplify these effects even more.
It can also keep an elevated flood risk in place for weeks until the ground and roads have time to dry out.
River ice melting too quickly and breaking apart can lead to ice jams, even if conditions have been dry.
That can lead to rapid rises of water and flooding at the site, and if the jam is bad enough, it can cause a backup upstream.
I know snow lovers were disappointed this season, but at least one of the positives is that we won’t have to worry about these specific concerns heading into the spring.
Stay tuned for all the “whys” behind the weather wonders that catch our attention each week.