On August 13, 2012, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) released the latest “Drought Current Status” report from the Virginia Drought Monitoring Task Force. The current status report is made available online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WaterSupplyWaterQuantity/Drought.aspx.
Click here for a previous Grouper posting of reports from the Drought Monitoring Task Force: March 7, 2012 report.
Following is an excerpt from the first part of the August 13, 2012, report. Please see the full document online for the agency reports and appendices mentioned.
“Relatively low rainfall and extreme heat conditions continued across Virginia throughout July . The National Weather Service’s Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Services (AHPS) web pages showing departures from normal rainfall over the past 30, 60 and 90 days (Appendix A) indicate that rainfall deficits persist across most of the commonwealth, particularly in the north along the Potomac River south of Washington, the northern part of the Eastern Shore (Accomack County), the Rappahannock Basin and the Appomattox Basin in central Virginia. Rainfall has resulted primarily from isolated and scattered thunderstorms that have produced an uneven pattern of precipitation geographically. The water-year rainfall departure from normal map also indicates cumulative rainfall totals in these areas, as well as the rest of the Piedmont and parts of the Blue Ridge and Shenandoah Valley areas remain significantly below normal, partially in response to below-normal precipitation during the winter months. Low rainfall plus recent high temperatures have continued to affect stream flows, ground water levels, agricultural concerns and some public water supplies (see agency reports below).
The August 7th, 2012, U.S. Drought Monitor Web pages indicated…abnormally dry (D0) conditions…across approximately 70% of the state (Appendices B & C). Moderate drought (D1) conditions extended across nearly 18% of Virginia, including the areas mentioned above plus the southern part of the Eastern Shore. The northern half of Accomack County [was] mapped as part of a severe drought (D2) region that extends throughout much of Delaware and eastern Maryland.
The DEQ issued a Drought Watch Advisory for the Appomattox River Basin on July 26th, 2012. During the Drought Monitoring Task Force meeting on August 9, 2012, the Task Force recommended the declaration of Drought Watch Advisories for the Roanoke and Northern Piedmont Regions and an elevation in the Appomattox Basin to Drought Warning if conditions do not improve over the next week.
Reports from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) the Virginia Departments of Health (VDH), Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS), and Environmental Quality (DEQ) [are included in the report]. The DEQ report is a listing of current conditions at the 4 major drought indicator reservoirs.