Virginia Snowfall Prediction and Accumulation Information and Map Sources – November 2014

For the next predicted winter storm in Virginia, you can find National Weather Service maps of predicted amounts from the NWS forecast offices serving Virginia, online as follows:
Blacksburg, Va., forecast office: http://www.erh.noaa.gov/er/rnk/emer/emer_winter.php;

Morristown, Tenn., forecast office (serves far southwestern Virginia): http://graphical.weather.gov/sectors/mrx.php#tabs;

Sterling, Va., forecast office: http://www.erh.noaa.gov/lwx/winter/;

Wakefield, Va., forecast office: http://www.erh.noaa.gov/akq/wntr_grp.php.

During and after snow events in Virginia, preliminary (not official) snowfall totals (and total precipitation amounts) at many locations are available online at the “Virginia Daily Precipitation Reports” link of the Web site of the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS), at http://www.cocorahs.org/ViewData/StateDailyPrecipReports.aspx?state=VA.

A National Weather Service (NWS) color-coded map of snowfall amounts (preliminary reports for the previous 24 hours, 48 hours, and 72 hours) is available at http://www.srh.noaa.gov/ridge2/snow/.  This interactive page allows you to zoom into your area of interest.  A snowfall map (preliminary reports) for the area served by the Sterling, Va., NWS Forecast Office is available at  http://www.erh.noaa.gov/lwx/events/snowmaps/index.php.

On Virginia Water Radio for 11-24-14: Fish Families Show What Makes a Sunfish Not a Stonecat

During Thanksgiving week, the new episode of Virginia Water Radio puts a quirky spin on the year’s most family-oriented holiday by focusing on fish families, particularly  the five families containing most of Virginia’s freshwater species: minnows, catfish (which includes stonecats), sunfish and basses, perches and darters, and suckers.   Click here to have a listen (3 min./24 sec.)

Virginia Water Radio, online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org, is the Virginia Water Resources Research Center’s weekly podcast using sounds and music to focus on issues, events, people, and creatures connected to Virginia’s waters.

Water and Land Use in Virginia State Government News Releases for November 15–21, 2014: Hops Processing Operation in Loudoun County; and Online Training for Required Shellfish Dealer Permits

Following are titles and short excerpts from water-related or land-use-related Virginia state government news releases for November 15—21, 2014 (as of 4 p.m. on Nov. 21).  To access the full text of any release, click on the release title; or, if that link doesn’t work, click on the Web address beside each agency name to go to that agency’s archive of releases.

GOVERNOR’S OFFICE – https://governor.virginia.gov/newsroom/news-releases/

First Mid-Atlantic Commercial Hops Processing Operation/Loudoun County’s Black Hops Farm To Become Largest Hopsyard and Processing Facility in Commonwealth, 11/21/14. Excerpt: “Black Hops Farm, LLC will initially convert 15 acres of former pasture land into a hopsyard and build a new processing facility, thus becoming the largest hopsyard in Virginia and the Mid-Atlantic’s first commercial-scale hops production and processing facility.  … The company, providing important hops processing services for the entire region, will invest about $1 million, create 11 new jobs in Loudoun County, and source more than 60 percent of their hops from Virginia over the next three years.  The Commonwealth of Virginia is partnering with Loudoun County and Black Hops Farm on this project through the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund (AFID).”

DEPT. OF CONSERVATION AND RECREATION – http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/pr_relz.shtml#prarch
None during this period.

DEPT. OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY – http://www.deq.virginia.gov/ConnectWithDEQ/NewsReleases.aspx
None during this period.

DEPT. OF FORESTRY – http://www.dof.virginia.gov/news/releases/index.htm
None during this period.

DEPT. OF GAME AND INLAND FISHERIES – http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/news/
None during this period.

DEPT. OF HEALTHhttp://www.vdh.virginia.gov/news/PressReleases/2014/index.htm
None during this period, but see Health Department-related news item under Marine Resources Commission, directly below.

MARINE RESOURCES COMMISSION – http://www.mrc.virginia.gov/whatsnew.shtm
“VDH announces online training for shellfish dealers,” 11/19/14 [link to Training Announcement PDF]. Excerpt: “The training is mandatory for dealers to obtain 2015 VDH [Virginia Department of Health] shellfish permits.”

DEPT. OF MINES, MINERALS AND ENERGY – http://www.dmme.virginia.gov/DMME/Newsroom.shtml
None during this period.

Virginia Water-related Government Meetings for Nov. 24-Dec. 8, 2014

For more information, click on underlined meeting dates. Click here for the Commonwealth Calendar listing of all government meetings open to the public, and here for the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall listing of all government meetings of a regulatory nature.

For other, non-governmental, events, please see the Water Central News Grouper post, Quick Guide to Virginia Water-related Events.

REGULAR MEETINGS OF STATEWIDE BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS

12/2/14, 10 a.m.: Board for Professional Soil Scientists, Wetland Professionals and Geologists. At the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation, 9960 Mayland Drive in Richmond.

12/8/14, 10 a.m.: Air Pollution Control Board. In House Room C of the General Assembly Building in Richmond.

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MEETINGS OF LEGISLATIVE BODIES

For meetings of legislative committees and commissions during General Assembly sessions (regular and special), see http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?142+oth+MTG; use the drop-down menu on the left to pick the session of interest (current or past). Links to information about General Assembly commissions, councils, and special interim committees coordinated by the Division of Legislative Services is available online at http://dls.virginia.gov/commissions.html.

12/1/14, 11 a.m.: Joint Commission on Technology and Science’s Higher Education Equipment Advisory Committee. In the 3rd Floor East Conference Room of the General Assembly Building in Richmond. On 12/3/14, 10 a.m., the full commission meets in House Room D of the General Assembly Building.

12/3/14, 9:30 a.m.: Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund Advisory Committee. In the 4th Floor East and 4th Floor West Conference Rooms of the General Assembly Building in Richmond.

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MEETINGS ABOUT TOTAL MAXIMUM DAILY LOADS (or TMDLs) for IMPAIRED WATERS

For more information about TMDLs in Virginia, click here for the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality TMDL Web site; click on “Public Notices” in the menu to the left to access upcoming meetings and public-comment periods. A search tool to find approved TMDL reports is available at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WaterQualityInformationTMDLs/TMDL/TMDLDevelopment/ApprovedTMDLReports.aspx.

 None during this period.

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MEETINGS ON OTHER SPECIFIC TOPICS
(topics listed alphabetically)

Biosolids (Treated Sewage Sludge) Land-application Permit Requests
12/3/14, 6 p.m.: On the permit application by the Maury Service Authority to land-apply biosolids to an additional 327 acres in Rockbridge County. 3831 acres in Caroline County.  At Rockbridge County High School Auditorium, 143 Greenhouse Road in Lexington.

Coastal Flooding
11/24/14, 10 a.m.: Joint Subcommittee to Formulate Recommendations to Address Recurrent Flooding.  In House Room D of the General Assembly Building in Richmond. The subcommittee was created by the 2014 Virginia General Assembly (HJR 16 and SJR 3) to make recommendations for a comprehensive planning effort to address recurrent flooding in Virginia’s Tidewater and Eastern Shore, particularly as climate change is expected to increase extreme weather events.  Information on the work of this subcommittee is available from the Division of Legislative Services, online at http://dls.virginia.gov/interim_studies_flooding.html; and in a July 23, 2014, news release from the chair of the subcommittee, Del. Chris Stolle (R-83rd) of Virginia Beach, online at http://chrisstolle.com/chris-stolle-elected-as-chair-of-general-assembly-joint-subcommittee-on-recurrent-flooding.

Energy – Nuclear
12/4/14, 9 a.m.: Virginia Nuclear Energy Consortium Authority Board. At Virginia Commonwealth University’s East Engineering Hall, Room E3210, 401 W Main Street in Richmond.

River Basin Advisory Committees and Commissions
12/3/14, 1 p.m.: Rappahannock River Basin Commission.  In House Room C of the General Assembly Building in Richmond.  The Commission was established by the Virginia General Assembly (see Va. Code section 62.1-69.27 to “provide guidance for the stewardship and enhancement of the water quality and natural resources of the Rappahannock River Basin.”  More information on the work of the Commission is available online at http://rappriverbasin.org/.

State Parks
12/8/14, 6 p.m.: Breaks Interstate Park Master Plan public meeting. At Breaks Conference Center, 627 Commission Circle in Breaks (Dickenson County).

Water Quality Regulations and Standards
12/8/14, 9:30 a.m.: Advisory Group on the Virginia Water Protection Permit (VWP) Regulation and associated VWP General Permit Regulations.  At the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Piedmont Regional Office, 4949-A Cox Road in Glen Allen.  The advisory group is assisting the DEQ and State Water Control Board in development of possible amendments to these regulations, specifically the following Virginia Administrative Code sections and subjects 9 VAC 25-210: Virginia Water Protection Permit Regulation; 9 VAC 25-660: General Permit for Impacts Less Than One-Half Acre; 9 VAC 25-670: General Permit for Facilities and Activities of Utility and Public Service Companies Regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission or the State Corporation Commission and Other Utility Line Activities; 9 VAC 25-680: General Permit for Linear Transportation Projects; 9 VAC 25-690: General Permit for Impacts from Development Activities.  The Notice of Intended Regulatory Action (NOIRA) was published in the Virginia Register of Regulations on June 2, 2014.  More information about the proposed regulatory actions is available online at http://townhall.virginia.gov/L/viewchapter.cfm?chapterid=1893.

Groundwater Use and Depletion in Major Food-Producing Areas are Focus of “60 Minutes” Story in November 2014

On November 16, 2014, CBS News’ “60 Minutes” program aired “Depleting the Water,” a 13 min./55 sec. segment on groundwater use and depletion in major agricultural areas around the world, including California.  The segment highlights the use of an experimental NASA program called GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment), which uses two satellites to detect changes in gravitational pull on the satellites resulting from groundwater-level changes on earth.  The segment’s video, transcript, and additional information are available online at http://www.cbsnews.com/news/depleting-the-water/.

Water Aspects of Gas and Oil Drilling Examined in Series of Studies by U.S. Geological Survey’s Water Science Centers; July 2014 Summary of Hydraulic Fracturing Studies Available

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Water Science Centers have conducted a number of studies on water-resources aspects of gas and oil drilling around the country.  The USGS has assembled those studies at one Web site, http://water.usgs.gov/coop/products/energy/.

In addition, in July 2014, the USGS released a 16-page report summarizing studies concerning the hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking”) method of recovering gas or oil.  The report, “Summary of Studies Related to Hydraulic Fracturing Conducted by USGS Water Science Centers,” is available at the Web site noted above.

Precipitation in Southeast U.S. for the 7-day Period Ending November 18, 2014, Plus a Mid-month Virginia Drought Assessment

Below are images showing precipitation in the southeastern United States over the seven-day period ending November 18, 2014; and the status of drought indicators in Virginia as of November 19, 2014.  The Virginia Water Resources Research Center thanks the agencies mentioned below for providing precipitation and stream-flow information and images.  For monthly reviews of precipitation, stream flow, and drought, please see the News Grouper posts available at this link: http://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/?s=Monthly+Water+Status.  For more information on current and historical surface-water and groundwater conditions in Virginia, please see the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Virginia Science Center’s Web site, http://va.water.usgs.gov/.

Precipitation

The following maps show southeastern U.S. precipitation amounts over the past seven days (top map), and the percent of normal precipitation for the given location at this time of year (bottom map).   The maps were accessed on 11/19/14 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Southeast Regional Climate Center, located at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill; online at http://www.sercc.com/climateinfo/precip_maps.  As of 11/19/14, these data are provisional (needing to be verified for accuracy and subject to possible revision).

Precip Nov18Precipperc Nov18

For another precipitation-information source: The National Weather Service’s Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service, http://water.weather.gov/precip/, provides maps showing precipitation nationwide or by state for specific days, months, or years.  The site also has the capability to show county boundaries.  As an example, shown below is the map of one-day precipitation ending at 7 a.m. EST on November 19, 2014.  (Please note that UTC, the time shown on the map below, is five hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time and four hours ahead of Eastern Daylight Time.)

Precip national Nov19 

Drought Update

The Virginia Drought Monitoring Task Force, a collaboration of state and federal agencies, issued its most recent Drought Status Report on November 17, 2014.  The report typically includes information from some or all of the following agencies: University of Virginia Climatology Office, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and the Virginia departments of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Health, and Environmental Quality.  Task Force reports and other current drought-status information are available online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WaterSupplyWaterQuantity/Drought.aspx.

The Drought Monitoring Task Force also produces a daily map rating groundwater levels (GW), precipitation deficits (Prcp), reservoir storage (Res), and stream flow (Flow) conditions across the Commonwealth. In each area, a color code indicates “normal,” “watch,” “warning,” or “emergency conditions.”  The November 19, 2014, map is shown below.  The current map for any given day, and more information on the ratings, are available the Task Force Web site listed above.

Drought Map VA Nov 19