Category Archives: Water Supply

Virginia Precipitation and Stream Flow for the 7-day Period Ending October 14, 2014

Below are images showing precipitation in the southeastern United States and stream flow in Virginia over the seven-day period ending October 14, 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.

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 10/15/14 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 10/15/14, these data are provisional (needing to be verified for accuracy and subject to possible revision).

precip seven day oct 14

precip perc Oct 14

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, shwon below is the map of one-day precipitation ending at 8 a.m. on October 15, 2014.
precip oct 14

Stream Flow

Average Virginia stream flow over week ending October 14, 2014, is indicated in the map below, from the U.S. Geological Survey WaterWatch for Virginia (online at http://waterwatch.usgs.gov/classic.php?m=pa07d&r=va&w=mv01d%2Cmap, accessed 10/15/14). The map compares the previous week’s average stream flows at about 140 stream-gaging stations (in Virginia and just beyond the state border) to the normal flow levels for that week over the historical record for each gaging station. The color codes/percentile classes used by USGS to compared flows to historical records for the month are as follows:KEEP ON DESK _ Stream Flow Chartstreams Oct14

 

 

Water Infrastructure was Focus of Mid-Atlantic Regional Water Conference, September 24-25, 2014, in Shepherdstown, West Va.

On September 24-25, 2014, at the National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, the West Virginia Water Research Institute hosted the 2014 Mid-Atlantic Regional Water Conference. The conference theme was “The Future of Mid-Atlantic Water Infrastructure: Challenges and Solutions.”  The conference was a joint effort of the National Institutes for Water Resources (NIWR) and its mid-Atlantic member institutes in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia (the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, which produces this blog), and West Virginia.  Conference presentations are available online at http://www.midatlanticwc.com/event-info/conference-agenda/; to view the abstracts and presentations, click on a given talk’s title within the conference agenda table.  For questions or more information about the conference, contact Glenn Waldron, West Virginia Water Research Institute/West Virginia University, (304) 293-7085, e-mail: Glenn.Waldron@mail.wvu.edu.

Potomac River and Pawpaw at Nat Cons Tr Ctr Shepherdstown Sep25 2014The Potomac River, viewed September 25, 2014, from the grounds of the National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, West Virginia.

Virginia Precipitation and Stream Flow for the 7-day Period Ending October 7, 2014

Below are images showing precipitation in the southeastern United States and stream flow in Virginia over the seven-day period ending October 7, 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.

Precipitation

The following maps—accessed 10/8/14 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–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).  As of 10/8/14, these data remained provisional (needing to be verified for accuracy and subject to possible revision).

Precip Oct 7

Precip perc Ocy 7

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.

Stream Flow

Average Virginia stream flow over week ending October 7, 2014, is indicated in the map below, from the U.S. Geological Survey WaterWatch for Virginia (online at http://waterwatch.usgs.gov/classic.php?m=pa07d&r=va&w=mv01d%2Cmap, accessed 10/8/14). The map compares the previous week’s average stream flows at about 140 stream-gaging stations (in Virginia and just beyond the state border) to the normal flow levels for that week over the historical record for each gaging station. The color codes/percentile classes used by USGS to compared flows to historical records for the month are as follows:

KEEP ON DESK _ Stream Flow Chart

Streams Oct 7

 

U.S. Water Resources and Water Infrastructure Challenges Assessed in Charting New Waters Initiative by Johnson Foundation at Wingspread

In September 2014, the Johnson Foundation at Wingspread, located in Racine, Wisconsin, released Navigating New Shores: Seizing the Future for Sustainable and Resilient U.S. Freshwater Resources.  The 56-page report is the culmination of a six-year initiative by the foundation to assess U.S. water-resources and water-infrastructure challenges.  The initiative produced eight other reports prior to the September 2014 culminating report.  The culminating report offers recommendations for five broad goals: 1) Optimize the use of available water supplies; 2) Transition to next-generation wastewater systems; 3) Integrate the management of water, energy and food production; 4) Institutionalize the value of water; and 5) Create integrated utilities.  The culminating report, previous reports, and information about the initiative are available online at http://www.johnsonfdn.org/aboutus/capstone; or contact the foundation at 33 East Four Mile Road, Racine, Wisconsin 53402; (262) 639-3211.

Johnson report cover

Cover of Navigating New Shores: Seizing the Future for Sustainable and Resilient U.S. Freshwater Resources, accessed at the report’s Web site, http://www.johnsonfdn.org/aboutus/capstone, 10/7/14.

Virginia Water Status Report as of the End of September 2014, Plus a Look at Drought Nationally

Here is the Virginia Water Central News Grouper’s monthly water-status report, as of the end of September 2014.   The Virginia Water Resources Research Center thanks the agencies mentioned below for providing the data and maps used in this post.

First, in precipitation: Here are National Weather Service (NWS) preliminary precipitation totals for September 2014 at 11 Virginia or near-Virginia locations, with the amount above (+) or below (-) normal for this month of the year historically in parentheses.   All values are in inches, rounded to the nearest 0.1 inch from NWS values.

Location Observed Precipitation
(inches)
Above (+) or Below (-) Normal (inches)
Blacksburg 3.8 +0.7
Bluefield (Va.-W.Va. state line) 2.4 -0.7
Bristol (Tri-Cities Airport in Tenn., about 20 miles from Bristol, Va.-Tenn.) 1.4 -1.6
Charlottesville 0.9 -3.6
Danville 3.9 -0.1
Dulles Airport (Loudoun County) 0.9 -3.0
Lynchburg 1.6 -2.3
Norfolk 9.2 +4.4
Richmond 1.3 -2.8
Roanoke 1.2 -2.7
Wallops Island (Accomack County) 4.7 +0.8

Precipitation sources: Climate pages of the following National Weather Service Forecast Offices:
Blacksburg, Va. (http://www.nws.noaa.gov/climate/index.php?wfo=rnk);
Morristown, Tenn. (http://www.weather.gov/climate/index.php?wfo=mrx;
Baltimore-Washington (http://www.nws.noaa.gov/climate/index.php?wfo=lwx); and
Wakefield, Va. (http://www.nws.noaa.gov/climate/index.php?wfo=akq).

The normal values used by the National Weather Service (NWS) in these provisional reports are based on the 1981-2010 period.  The National Climatic Data Center released these normal values in July 2011.  For information on the normal values, see the National Climatic Data Center Web page at http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/normals/usnormals.html.

For graphs of precipitation, visit the Southeast Regional Climate Center (Chapel Hill, N.C) at http://www.sercc.com/climateinfo/precip_maps, where you can find maps of total precipitation and percent of normal precipitation for the past 7, 30, 60, or 90 days; or the NWS’ Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service at http://water.weather.gov/precip/ for a map of precipitation nationwide or by state, with capability to show county boundaries, and archives available for specific days, months, or years.  Shown below are the Southeast Regional Climate Center’s provisional (still needing verification) maps of the percent-of-normal precipitation for the previous 30 days, 60 days, and 90 days, through September 30, 2014.

30 day precip60-day precip90-day precip

Next, in stream flow: According to the U.S. Geological Survey WaterWatch for Virginia, average stream flow values for the September 2014 at about 146 stream gages in Virginia and just beyond the state border were in the normal range at about 66 percent of gages; below normal at about 19 percent; much below normal at about 3 percent; above normal at about 7 percent; and much above normal at about 5 percent.  The color-coded, flow-percentile map for this period is shown below.  The color codes/percentile classes used by USGS to compared flows to historical records for the month are as follows:
Red and maroon dots: Below 10th percentile = much below normal to record low;
Yellow dots: 10th to 24th percentile = below normal;
Green dots: 25th to 75th percentile = normal;
Light blue dots: 76th to 90th percentile = above normal;
Dark blue and black dots: Above 90th percentile = much above normal to record high.

KEEP ON DESK _ Stream Flow Chart

Streams Sep 2014

 

Finally, the drought watch:
The weekly National Drought Monitor map from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/) on September 30, 2014, categorized about 48 percent of Virginia as being abnormally dry.  The area covered was essentially all of the northern half of the state, excluding the Eastern Shore and the northernmost tier of counties.  Also included as abnormally dry were the areas around Danville, Galax, and Martinsville along the southern state border.

The Drought Monitor notes that it “focuses on broad-scale conditions [and] local conditions may vary.” The Drought Monitor categories are as follows:
D0 = abnormally dry;
D1 = moderate drought;
D2 = severe drought;
D3 = extreme drought;
D4 = exceptional drought.

For comparison, here are Virginia ratings from previous Drought Monitors from about one month, two months, three months, and one year ago:
9/2/14 – 11 percent abnormally dry;
7/29/14 – 27 percent abnormally dry;
7/1/14 – 10 percent abnormally dry; 2 percent in moderate drought;
10/1/13 – 30 percent abnormally dry.

The Virginia Drought Monitoring Task Force, a collaboration of state and federal agencies, issued its most recent Drought Status Report on August 18, 2014.  A link to the report, along with other current drought-status information, is available online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WaterSupplyWaterQuantity/Drought.aspx.  The Task Force’s reports typically include 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.

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 October 1, 2014, map is shown below.  The current map and more information on the ratings are available the Task Force Web site listed above.

Drought state Va
Looking beyond Virginia: The September 30 U.S. Drought Monitor rated 40.1 percent of the United States (including all or parts of 47 states) as being abnormally dry or worse, and it rated 15.6 percent of the country (including all or parts of 15 states), as being in severe drought or worse (categories D2, D3, and D4). (On August 7, 2012, 38.5 percent of the country was in the three worst categories; that was the highest percentage in these categories reported by the Drought Monitor since it began in 2000.)

The nationwide percentages for abnormally dry or worse (D0-D4) and severe or worse (D2-D4) in the previous three months and one year ago were as follows:
9/2/14 – 39.2 percent abnormally dry or worse; 17.5 percent severe drought or worse;
7/29/14 – 39.8 percent abnormally dry or worse; 19.0 percent severe drought or worse;
7/1/14 – 37.2 percent abnormally dry or worse; 20.9 percent severe drought or worse;
10/1/13 – 55.8 percent abnormally dry or worse; 17.3 percent severe drought or worse.

In the following four states, over 50 percent of the state was categorized by the September 2 report as being in severe-or-worse drought:

California – 95% (with 82% in extreme or exceptional drought; California was rated as having 100 percent severe-or-worse drought from May 13—July 29, 2014).
Nevada – 70% (with 48% in extreme or exceptional drought);
Oklahoma – 58% (with 21% in extreme or exceptional drought);
Oregon – 56% (with 35% in extreme drought).

Finally, here’s an interesting comment from the September 30, 2014, Drought Monitor on lingering drought effects in Oklahoma:
“[During the previous week], conditions deteriorated in Oklahoma, where 65% of the topsoil and 74% of the subsoil were short or very short of moisture…. The fact that more (greater percentage) subsoil was dry to very dry compared to topsoil indicated that the region never fully recovered from the drought of 2011-2012.”

For previous News Grouper monthly water status reports during the past 12 months, please click these links:
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013

 

Drought Report for Virginia and Elsewhere as of Mid-September 2014

The September 16, 2014, U.S. Drought Monitor from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (available at http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/) rated about 15 percent of Virginia as “abnormally dry.”

The Drought Monitor notes that it “focuses on broad-scale conditions, and local conditions may vary.” The Drought Monitor’s categories, from mildest to most severe, are as follows:
D0 = Abnormally Dry;
D1 = Moderate Drought;
D2 = Severe Drought;
D3 = Extreme Drought;
D4 = Exceptional Drought.

Virginia’s abnormally dry areas on September 16 included part of the Alleghany Highlands, part of Washington County, the Martinsville area, most of the northern Shenandoah Valley from Rockingham County to near Winchester, and a swath across the state from the northern Valley to around Richmond.

The current Virginia drought map and a link to archived maps are available at http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/Home/StateDroughtMonitor.aspx?VA.

The Virginia Drought Monitoring Task Force, a collaboration of state and federal agencies, issued its most recent Drought Status Report on August 18, 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 September 18, 2014, map is shown below.  The current map and more information on the ratings are available the Task Force Web site listed above.

Drought VA 9-18-14

Elsewhere in the United States, the September 16 Drought Monitor categorized about 38 percent of the country (in 43 states) as at least abnormally dry (combined categories D0-D4), and about 17 percent (in 15 states) in at least severe drought (combined categories D2-D4). Three states—listed below—had at least 50 percent of their area rated severe drought or worse (Categories D2-D4).
California = 95%
Nevada = 81%
Oregon = 57%

The September 16 Drought Monitor noted that summer 2014 was on “the ninth wettest summer on record for the U.S. (according to the National Climatic Data Center)….” But, “[a] near-complete lack of precipitation [during the week ending 9/16/14] means drought continues largely unabated through California and along the West Coast.”

For a look ahead, the National Weather Service/Climate Prediction Center’s “U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook” for the next 90 days is available at http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/expert_assessment/sdo_summary.html.  Shown below is the September 18—December 31, 2014, outlook map.

Drought outlook Sep18
For previous Virginia Water Central News Grouper mid-month drought reports, please click the following links.
Mid-August 2014
Mid-July 2014

[No reports for December 2013—June 2014]

Mid-November 2013
Mid-October 2013
Mid-September 2013
Mid-August 2013
Mid-July 2013

Virginia Water Status Report as of the End of August 2014, Plus a Look at Drought Nationally

Here is the Virginia Water Central News Grouper’s monthly water-status report, as of the end of August 2014. The Virginia Water Resources Research Center thanks the agencies mentioned below for providing the data and maps used in this post.

First, in precipitation: Here are National Weather Service (NWS) preliminary precipitation totals for August 2014 at 11 Virginia or near-Virginia locations, with the amount above (+) or below (-) normal for this month of the year historically in parentheses. All values are in inches, rounded to the nearest 0.1 inch from NWS values.

Location Observed Precipitation
(inches)
Above (+) or Below (-) Normal (inches)
Blacksburg 6.0 +2.4
Bluefield (Va.-W.Va. state line) 6.4 (record high for month) +3.2
Bristol (Tri-Cities Airport in Tenn., about 20 miles from Bristol, Va.-Tenn.) 4.2 +0.7
Charlottesville 4.3 +0.7
Danville 6.2 +2.3
Dulles Airport (Loudoun County) 5.2 +1.6
Lynchburg 4.8 +1.5
Norfolk 3.0 -2.5
Richmond 3.6 -1.1
Roanoke 6.5 +3.0
Wallops Island (Accomack County) 4.5 +0.3

Precipitation sources: Climate pages of the following National Weather Service Forecast Offices:
Blacksburg, Va. (http://www.nws.noaa.gov/climate/index.php?wfo=rnk);
Morristown, Tenn. (http://www.weather.gov/climate/index.php?wfo=mrx
Baltimore-Washington (http://www.nws.noaa.gov/climate/index.php?wfo=lwx); and
Wakefield, Va. (http://www.nws.noaa.gov/climate/index.php?wfo=akq).

The normal values used by the National Weather Service (NWS) in these provisional reports are based on the 1981-2010 period. The National Climatic Data Center released these normal values in July 2011. For information on the normal values, see the National Climatic Data Center Web page at http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/normals/usnormals.html.

For graphs of precipitation, visit the Southeast Regional Climate Center (Chapel Hill, N.C) at http://www.sercc.com/climateinfo/precip_maps, where you can find maps of total precipitation and percent of normal precipitation for the past 7, 30, 60, or 90 days; or the NWS’ Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service at http://water.weather.gov/precip/ for a map of precipitation nationwide or by state, with capability to show county boundaries, and archives available for specific days, months, or years. Shown below are the Southeast Regional Climate Center’s provisional (still needing verification) maps of the percent-of-normal precipitation for the previous 30 days, 60 days, and 90 days, as of September 8, 2014.  Please be sure to note that the scale is different for the 90-day map.

30 day precip60 day precip90 day precip

Next, in stream flow: According to the U.S. Geological Survey WaterWatch for Virginia, average stream flow values for the August 2014 at 147 stream gages in Virginia and just beyond the state border were in the normal range at about 79 percent of gages; below normal at about 3 percent; above normal at about 12 percent; and much above normal at about 6 percent. The color-coded, flow-percentile map for this period is shown below. The color codes/percentile classes used by USGS to compared flows to historical records for the month are as follows:

KEEP ON DESK _ Stream Flow Chart

Streams August 20124

 

Finally, our drought watch:
The weekly National Drought Monitor map from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/) on September 2, 2014, categorized about 11 percent of Virginia as being abnormally dry. The areas included were Accomack County; the upper areas of the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula; part of the Alleghany Highlands; all or parts of 5 or 6 far-southwestern counties; an area around Martinsville.

The Drought Monitor notes that it “focuses on broad-scale conditions [and] local conditions may vary.” The Drought Monitor categories are as follows:
D0 = abnormally dry;
D1 = moderate drought;
D2 = severe drought;
D3 = extreme drought;
D4 = exceptional drought.

For comparison, here are Virginia ratings from previous Drought Monitors from about one month, two months, three months, and one year ago:
7/29/14 – 27 percent abnormally dry;
7/1/14 – 10 percent abnormally dry; 2 percent in moderate drought;
6/3/14 – 9 percent abnormally dry;
9/3/13 – drought-free.

The Virginia Drought Monitoring Task Force, a collaboration of state and federal agencies, issued its most recent Drought Status Report on August 18, 2014. That report is online (as PDF) at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Portals/0/DEQ/Water/WaterResources/VirginiaDroughtStatus/CurrentDroughtTaskForceReport.pdf; a link to the report, along with other current drought-status information, is available online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WaterSupplyWaterQuantity/Drought.aspx. The Task Force’s reports typically include 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.

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 September 1, 2014, map is shown below. The current map and more information on the ratings are available the Task Force Web site listed above.

Drought Status VA Sep 1 2014
Looking beyond Virginia: The September 2, 2014, U.S. Drought Monitor rated 39.2 percent of the United States (including all or parts of 42 states) as being abnormally dry or worse, and it rated 17.5 percent of the country (including all or parts of 14 states), as being in severe drought or worse (categories D2, D3, and D4). (On August 7, 2012, 38.5 percent of the country was in the three worst categories; that was the highest percentage in these categories reported by the Drought Monitor since it began in 2000.)

The nationwide percentages for abnormally dry or worse (D0-D4) and severe or worse (D2-D4) in the previous three months and one year ago were as follows:
7/29/14 – 39.8 percent abnormally dry or worse; 19.0 percent severe drought or worse;
7/1/14 – 37.2 percent abnormally dry or worse; 20.9 percent severe drought or worse;
6/3/14 – 43.6 percent abnormally dry or worse; 22.8 percent severe drought or worse;
9/3/13 – 59.7 percent abnormally dry or worse; 27.9 percent severe drought or worse.

In the following four states, over 50 percent of the state was categorized by the September 2 report as being in severe-or-worse drought:
Arizona – 57% (with 7% in extreme drought);

California – 98% (with 82% in extreme or exceptional drought; California was rated as having 100 percent severe-or-worse drought from May 13—July 29, 2014).

Nevada – 81% (with 50% in extreme or exceptional drought);

Oregon – 56% (with 34% in extreme drought).

Here are some interesting items on high temperatures and high rainfall totals in August 2014 or summer 2014, excerpted from the September 2, 2014, Drought Monitor:

In the Mid-Atlantic
According to the NWS [National Weather Service], record high temperatures were reported earlier this week at Wallops Islands, Virginia (94° F) and New Bern, North Carolina (96° F).

In the Midwest
According to the NWS in Sioux Falls, Iowa, rainfall records were broken at the Sioux Falls Airport for the summer months (30.38 inches from June through August; breaking the previous record of 20.13 inches set in 2010) as well as for the month of August (10.12 inches).

In the Northeast
With 14.07 inches falling, the monthly total rainfall record for August was broken at Islip Macarthur Airport on Long Island, according to the NWS.

In the South
In south-central Texas, on August 12, 2014, the Edwards Aquifer Authority (serving nearly 2 million south-central residents) declared Stage 4 pumping reductions for users in the San Antonio Pool as groundwater levels dropped below threshold levels.

During this week record daily high temperatures were set at Amarillo (104° F), Borger (106°), and El Paso (100° F), according to the NWS.

In Lake Charles, Louisiana, a summer rainfall record was broken with 36.90 inches reported by the NWS in Lake Charles.

In the Southeast
In west-central Florida this week, the NWS in Tampa Bay reported record daily high temperatures at Sarasota-Bradenton (96° F) and Ft. Meyers (96° F).

For previous News Grouper monthly water status reports during the past 12 months, please click these links:
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013