National Water Conditions

U.S. Geological Survey
Environment Canada Climate Information Branch

National Water Conditions Surface Water Conditions Map - November 1995
Provisional data subject to review.

Conditions for the month of November 1995

Isolated heavy rainfall from thunderstorms caused flash flooding along the Gulf Coast from Texas to Florida from November 1 to 3. Rainfall totals of 6-8 inches were common. Lafayette, Louisiana, recorded 8.75 inches for the week; 7.47 inches fell in 24 hours on November 2-3.

Thunderstorms and heavy rain also caused flash flooding in Arizona and Hawaii. Phoenix, Arizona, recorded 1.25 inches of rain on November 1, which is 189 percent of the normal monthly total for November. Surrounding areas of Phoenix received up to 4 inches of rain. On November On the island of Hawaii, Lihue, received 8.95 inches of rain on November 3, and had a weekly total of 11.33 inches.

From November 8 to 13 heavy rainfall in Washington and Oregon caused extensive snowmelt and runoff on the eastern slopes of the Cascade Mountains and on the Olympic Peninsula. Rainfall totals included 7.23 inches in Quillayute, Washington, and more than 5 inches in Portland and Astoria, Oregon. Portland had a 24-hour rainfall total of 2.80 inches on November 10-11. The Skagit River in Washington reached near-record streamflow. Flood warnings were issued for the Skagit, the Snohomish, the Snoqualmie, and the Stillaguamish Rivers in Washington State.

Heavy rainfall from the season's first nor'easter between November 13 and 15 caused minor flooding in Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and New England. Rainfall totals were in the 3 to 4 inch range, and some evacuations were required. The rainfall in October and November eased the drought conditions in the region. The New York City reservoir system increased from 70 percent of normal capacity on October 12 to 96 percent of normal on November 14.

Thunderstorms with very heavy rains hit southern Texas on November 17. The reselting widespread flash flooding necessitates some evacuations. San Isidro, received more than 12 inches of rain; Lyford, 7.3 inches; and Sebastian, 3.5 inches on that date.

Major flooding returned to Washington and Oregon from November 27 to 30. A storm similar to the one earlier in the month brought heavy rain, warm temperatures, and a high freezing line to the Cascade and the Coastal Ranges. Record of near-record flows were recorded at many gaging stations. The Skagit River at Concrete, Washington, peaked at a flow of 160,000 cubic feet per second and about 0.8 feet above the previous record stage. Peak flows on the Puyallup, the Cispus, and the Cowlitz Rivers in Washington exceeded 100-year recurrence intervals. Other very high flows were recorded and (or) measured on the Nooksack, the Stillaguamish, the Skykomish, the Snohomish, and the Snoqualmie Rivers in Washington; the Wilson, the Siletz, the Luckamute, the Clackamas, the Tualatin, and the Nehalem Rivers in Oregon; and the lower Columbia River in both States. Minor flooding from this storm also occurred in Idaho and Montana. More information on the floods can be found at.

As flooding hit the Northwest, the Northeast, and the Gulf Coast, the Central and the Southern Plains were extremely dry. October and November precipitation in this area was as low as 5-10 percent of normal. California and the western Great Basin also was very dry with rainfall about 5 percent of normal. Between July 18 and November 24 (129 days), no measurable rain fell in Reno, Nevada.

The combined flow of the three largest rivers in the lower 48 States-- the Mississippi, the St. Lawrence, and the Columbia--increase 48 percent from last month to 1,008,100 cubic feet per second, which was 134 percent of the long-term November median and above normal. Flows in the Mississippi River at Vicksburg, Mississippi, increased 72 percent from October and were above normal at 152 percent of median. Flows in the Columbia River at The Dalles, Oregon, increased 62 percent and were 187 percent of the November median flow.

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