Category Archives: Water Supply

Virginia Precipitation and Stream Flow for the 7-day Period Ending July 22, 2014

Below are images showing precipitation in the southeastern United States and stream flow in Virginia over the seven-day period ending July 22, 2014. The Virginia Water Resources Research Center thanks the agencies mentioned below for providing precipitation and stream-flow information and images.

Precipitation

The following maps—accessed 7/23/14 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 7/23/14, these data remained provisional (needing to be verified for accuracy and subject to possible revision).

Precip Jul 22

Precip perc Jul 22

 

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 July 22, 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 7/23/14). 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:

Stream Flow Chart
Streams July 22

Drought Report for Virginia and Elsewhere as of mid-July 2014

The July 15, 2013, U.S. Drought Monitor from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (available at http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/) rated 28 percent of Virginia as “abnormally dry” and about two percent of the Commonwealth in “moderate drought.”

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 July 15 included approximately all the area from the Roanoke River basin west; the upper Chowan basin, primarily from Dinwiddie County to the North Carolina border; and northern Accomack County. The moderate drought area covered parts of Lee, Scott, and Washington counties in the far southwestern corner.

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 May 16, 2014; the next report is supposed to be issued in mid-July 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.

Elsewhere in the United States, the July 15 Drought Monitor categorized about 38 percent of the country (in 40 states) as at least abnormally dry (combined categories D0-D4), and about 20 percent (in 14 states) in at least severe drought (combined categories D2-D4).  Five states—listed below—had at least 50 percent of their area rated severe drought or worse (Categories D2-D4).
Arizona = 72%
California = 100%
Nevada = 87%
New Mexico = 78%
Oklahoma = 63%
Oregon = 52%

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 July 17—October 31, 2014, outlook map, the one available on 7/17/14.

Drought outlook

 

For previous Virginia Water Central News Grouper mid-month drought reports during the past 12 months, please click the following links.

[No reports for December 2013—June 2014]

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

 

California Drought 2012-2014 – A Quick Summary and Sources of Information, as of July 17, 2014

[This post replaces one put up on 2-28-14]

It’s an event of national significance when persistent and severe drought afflicts California, the nation’s third largest state in land area and largest in population (with over 37 million people as of the 2010 Census), and the source of over $44 billion worth of agricultural products in 2012, about 11 percent of total U.S. cash farm receipts that year (according to the California Department of Food and Agriculture, at, 2/28/14).   As of the July 15, 2014, edition of the weekly U.S. Drought Monitor from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (online at http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/), 100 percent of California was categorized as being in “severe,” “extreme,” or “exceptional” drought (the Drought Monitor’s three driest categories, out of five).   This has been the situation since May 2014, but as far back as June 2013, over 50 percent of the state was rated as in severe-or-worse drought.

The following comments in the February 25, 2014, and July 15, 2014, editions of the Drought Monitor add some more perspective on the current California drought:
Feb. 25, 2014
“From a broader perspective, California completed its 12th-driest year from July 1, 2011—June 30, 2012, and its 11th-driest year from July 1, 2012—June 30, 2013, according to the National Climatic Data Center.  During the last 120 years, the only comparable period for dryness occurred from July 1, 1975—June 30, 1977, when California experienced its fourth- and third-driest years on record.  …Heat has certainly not helped California’s drought situation; Needles, Calif.—with a high of 90°F on February 19—reported its earliest ever 90-degree reading (previously, 90°F on February 24, 1904).  Sandberg, Calif., has reached or exceeded the 70-degree mark on 7 days in February; the previous standard of 4 days was established in February 1963.”

July 15, 2014
“…With June [2014] in the books, NCDC [National Climatic Date Center; online at http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/] rankings for California for the July 2013-June 2014 period were the warmest and 3rd driest since 1895.  The only drier July-June periods were in 1923-24 and 1976-77.  This is the first time California experienced 3 consecutive years in the top 20 for dryness: 2011-12 ranked 20th, 2012-13 ranked 18th, and statewide precipitation has averaged 67% of normal during this 3-year period, and was just 56% of normal in 2013-14.  Fortunately California’s reservoirs hold more water than they did in 1977 when the state experienced its 4th and 2nd driest years on record from July 1975-June 1977.  However, a recent study estimated that this drought will cost California $2.2 billion in 2014, with a loss of over 17,000 agricultural jobs.”

On July 16, 2014, the California Water Quality Control Board announced that mandatory restrictions on residential water use would begin August 1, with violators subject to fines of $500 per day.

Below are links to five other information sources (besides the U.S. Drought Monitor) to help you learn about and follows this significant event in the Golden State.

California Department of Food and Agriculture, Sacramento, online at http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/, phone: (916) 654-0466.  (For agricultural statistics, see http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/statistics/.)

California Department of Water Resources, Sacramento, online at http://www.water.ca.gov/; phone: (916) 653-5791.

California Institute for Water Resources/University of California-Davis, online at http://ciwr.ucanr.edu/, phone: (510) 987-9124.  (For drought-information resources, see http://ciwr.ucanr.edu/California_Drought_Expertise/.)

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) California Water Science Center, Sacramento, online at http://ca.water.usgs.gov/; phone: (916) 278-3000.

PBS “NewsHour” reports:
*February 14, 2014, “California’s historic drought strains towns and farms in Sonoma County,” online at http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/california-historic-drought-strains-towns-farms-sonoma-county/ (8 min./4 sec.);
*July 16, 2014, “California’s ‘water cop’ urges residents to take drought seriously with mandatory restrictions,” online at http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/californias-water-cop-urges-residents-take-drought-seriously-mandatory-restrictions/ (9 min./38 sec.).

Virginia Precipitation and Stream Flow for the 7-day Period Ending July 15, 2014

Below are images showing precipitation in the southeastern United States and stream flow in Virginia over the seven-day period ending July 15, 2014. The Virginia Water Resources Research Center thanks the agencies mentioned below for providing precipitation and stream-flow information and images.

Precipitation

The following maps—accessed 7/16/14 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 7/16/14, these data remained provisional (needing to be verified for accuracy and subject to possible revision).

Precip July 15

Precip perc Jul 15


For another precipitation-information source:
The National Weather Service’s Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service, http://water.weather.gov/precip/, provides maps showingprecipitation 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 July 15 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 7/16/14). The map compares the previous week’s average stream flows at 139 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:

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.
Stream Flow Chart

 

Streams Jul 15

Virginia Precipitation and Stream Flow for the 7-day Period Ending July 8, 2014

Below are images showing precipitation in the southeastern United States and stream flow in Virginia over the seven-day period ending July 8, 2014. The Virginia Water Resources Research Center thanks the agencies mentioned below for providing precipitation and stream-flow information and images.

Precipitation
The following maps–accessed 7/9/14 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 7/9/14/14, these data remained provisional (needing to be verified for accuracy and subject to possible revision).

Precip July 8

 

Precip Perc July 8

 

For another precipitation-information source: The National Weather Service’s Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service, http://water.weather.gov/precip/, provides maps showingprecipitation 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 July 8 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 7/9/14). The map compares the previous week’s average stream flows at 139 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:

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 Stream Flow Color Code

Streams July 8

 

Virginia Water Status Report as of the End of June 2014, Plus a Quick Look at Nationwide Drought

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

Please note that all the information in this report was prior to the passage of Hurricane Arthur, which as of July 3 was predicted to move northeastward offshore of the mid-Atlantic coastline between July 3 and 5.

First, in precipitation: Here are National Weather Service (NWS) preliminary precipitation totals for June 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 3.1 -0.9
Bluefield (Va.-W.Va. state line) 3.6 -0.5
Bristol (Tri-Cities Airport in Tenn., about 20 miles from Bristol, Va.-Tenn.) 3.6 -0.3
Charlottesville 2.9 -0.9
Danville 1.2 -2.6
Dulles Airport (Loudoun County) 4.6 +0.6
Lynchburg 2.4 -1.2
Norfolk 1.9 -2.4
Richmond 3.4 -0.5
Roanoke 3.0 -0.8
Wallops Island (Accomack County) 1.6 -1.7

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 precipitation and percent-of-normal precipitation for the 30-day period of June 2 to July 1, 2014.

Precip June

 

Precip Percentage June

 

Next, in stream flow: According to the U.S. Geological Survey WaterWatch for Virginia, average stream flow values for June 2014 at 148 stream gages in Virginia and just beyond the state border (that is, the monthly average of stream flow readings taken at each gage) were in the normal range at about 74 percent of gages; below normal at about 13 percent; above normal at about 8 percent; and much above normal at about 5 percent. The color-coded, flow-percentile map for June 2014 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 Stream Flow Color CodeStreams June

 

 

 

Finally, our drought watch:
The weekly National Drought Monitor map from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/) on July 1, 2014, categorized about 10 percent of Virginia (in the southwestern corner and in the area around Martinsville) as being abnormally dry; and about 2 percent as being in moderate drought (parts of three counties in the far southwestern corner).

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:
6/3/14 – 9 percent abnormally dry;
4/29/14 – 0.1 percent abnormally dry;
4/1/14 – drought-free;
7/2/13 – drought-free.

The Virginia Drought Monitoring Task Force, a collaboration of state and federal agencies, issued its most recent Drought Status Report on May 16, 2014; its next report is schedule for July 2014. The reports and other current drought-status information are available online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WaterSupplyWaterQuantity/Drought.aspx. The 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 July 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 VA map 7-1-14
Looking beyond Virginia: The July 1 U.S. Drought Monitor rated 37.2 percent of the United States (including all or parts of 39 states) as being abnormally dry or worse, and it rated 20.9 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:

6/3/14 – 43.6 percent abnormally dry or worse; 22.8 percent severe drought or worse;
4/29/14 – 41.3 percent abnormally dry or worse; 22.4 percent severe drought or worse;
4/1/14 – 44.7 percent abnormally dry or worse; 20.2 percent severe drought or worse;
7/2/13 – 50.6 percent abnormally dry or worse; 27.5 percent severe drought or worse.

In 6 states, over 50 percent of the state was categorized by the July 1 report as being in severe-or-worse drought (note that 47 percent of Kansas was rated as severe or worse):
Arizona – 76% (with 17% in extreme drought);

California – 100% (with 79% in extreme or exceptional drought; this level of extreme/exceptional drought is the highest percentage in California since at least January 2000, the start of the Drought Monitor’s records shown online).

Nevada – 87% (with 5% in extreme or exceptional drought);

New Mexico – 86% (with 40% in extreme or exceptional drought);

Oklahoma – 66% (with 30% in extreme or exceptional drought);

Oregon – 52% (with 15% in extreme drought).

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

Water and Wastewater Projects in Va. Counties of Buchanan, Grayson, and Wise are Part of $8.5 Million in Community Development Block Grants Announced June 26, 2014

On June 26, 2014, Va. Gov. Terry McCauliffe’s office announced that just over $8.5 million in Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) for 2014 had been awarded to 13 Virginia localities for economic-development, water/sewer infrastructure, and neighborhood revitalization projects.

The water/sewer-related grants were the following:
$1 million for phase I of a sewer project for the communities of Osaka, Roda, and Stonega in Wise County;
$700,000 for Phase V of the Hurley Regional Water Project in Buchanan County;
$485,626 for phase II of the Exeter water-line replacement in the Town of Appalachia (Wise County); and
$259,755 for the Nuckolls Curve Water Project in Grayson County.

CDBG grants are federally funded, awarded competitively, administered in Virginia by the Department of Housing and Community Development, and designed to assist primarily low- and moderate-income communities.  More information about the program in Virginia is available online at http://www.dhcd.virginia.gov/index.php/business-va-assistance/blighted-structures/community-development-block-grant-cdbg/10-community-development-block-grant-cdbg.html.

Source: Governor McAuliffe announces more than $8.5 million in Community Development Block Grant funding, Virginia Governor’s Office News Release, 6/26/14

Southeastern U.S. Precipitation and Virginia Stream Flow Look-back at Spring 2014

On June 24, with Virginia’s and the Northern Hemisphere’s longest day of 2014 just a few days gone by, here’s a look back at what happened with rainfall in the southeastern United States and stream flow in Virginia in spring 2014.  The Virginia Water Resources Research Center is grateful to the agencies mentioned above for their work to providing these valuable assessment products.

Precipitation
The following “Percent of Normal Precipitation” graph, from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Southeast Regional Climate Center, located at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill (http://www.sercc.com/climateinfo/precip_maps, accessed 6/24/14), shows how precipitation values across the southeastern United States between March 26 and June 23, 2014, compared to historical normal values for that periodThese data are provisional.  Note the yellow/green division in Virginia, showing normal to below-normal amounts in southwestern Virginia, and normal to somewhat above-normal values in most of the rest of the state.  These rainfall levels have led to the occurrence (since later April 2014) of “abnormally dry” or “moderate drought” conditions in parts of southwestern Virginia and around the Martinsville area, according to the June 17, 2014, report of the U.S. Drought Monitor.  (The Drought Monitor is produced by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and is available online at http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/.)  Virginia has had some level of drought since the April 22, 2014 Drought Monitor report.

90 precip departure Jun23

 

Outside of Virginia, note that parts of the southeastern United States received below-normal precipitation during this period—particularly southern Florida—but much of the region received normal or above-normal precipitation (well above normal in some area Gulf Coast areas).  The June 17 Drought Monitor rated about 5 percent of the southeastern United States as abnormally dry, compared to approximately six percent on March 25, 2014.

For another color-coded map of precipitation in Virginia or any other state of your choosing, see the National Weather Service’s Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service’s nationwide map of precipitation, with daily, monthly, and yearly archives; online at http://water.weather.gov/precip/.

Stream Flow
The first graph below, from the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) “WaterWatch—Current Water Resources Conditions” Web site (http://waterwatch.usgs.gov/new/index.php?id=pa01d&sid=w__plot&r=va), accessed 6/24/14), compares average daily stream flow to historical records for the period May 10—June 22, 2014. The second graph covers the period since January 2001.  The data in the graphs come from 87 sites that have at least 30 years of records.  Each graph uses a “stream flow index,” which measures how a site’s average stream flow over 24 hours compares to the historical average stream flow for that same site and date.  The graphs shows a further average: the stream flow index averaged statewide over the 87 sites.

Stream flow 45 days

streamflow since 2001

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION

For links to several other sources of streamflow, precipitation, groundwater, and other water-status information, please visit the Water Center’s “Water Status Information” Web page at http://vwrrc.vt.edu/waterstatus_new.html.

Click the following for the Virginia Water Central News Grouper’s previous seasonal look-backs on precipitation and streamflow:

Winter 2013 – 2014
[Fall 2013 – Missed.]
Summer 2013
Spring 2013
Winter 2012-13
[Fall 2012 – Missed.]
[Summer 2012 – Missed.]
Spring 2012
Winter 2012
Fall 2011
Summer 2011

And click the following for the News Grouper’s most recent monthly Virginia water status report (on precipitation, stream flow, groundwater, and drought), with links to access the previous 12 months’ reports:

May 2014

On Virginia Water Radio for 6-23-14: Water Well Construction

This week, Virginia Water Radio features sounds of going deep into the earth to delve deep into the history of humans digging wells for water.  Click here to have a listen (2 min./42 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.

Virginia Water Status Report as of the End of May 2014, Plus a Quick Look at Nationwide Drought

Here is the Virginia Water Central News Grouper’s monthly water-status report, as of the end of May. 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 May 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.

Blacksburg = 2.7 (-1.7)

Bluefield (Va.-W.Va. state line) = 2.8 (-1.5)

Bristol (Tri-Cities Airport in Tenn., about 20 miles from Bristol, Va.-Tenn.) = 2.2 (-1.6)

Charlottesville = 4.9 (+0.9)

Danville = 4.5 (+0.6)

Dulles Airport (Loudoun County) = 6.3 (+1.8)

Lynchburg = 5.4 (+1.7)

Norfolk= 4.6 (+1.2)

Richmond = 2.4 (-1.3)

Roanoke = 2.4 (-1.7)

Wallops Island (Accomack County) = 3.5 (+0.5)

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 normals, 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 precipitation and percent-of-normal precipitation for the 30-day period of May 5 to June 3, 2014.

Precip May 2014

 Precip percentage

 

Next, in stream flow: According to the U.S. Geological Survey WaterWatch for Virginia, average streamflow values for May 2014 at 149 stream gages in Virginia and just beyond the state border (that is, the monthly average of streamflow readings taken at each gage) were in the normal range at about 35 percent of gages; below normal at about 3 percent; above normal at about 10 percent; and much above normal at about 52 percent. The color-coded, flow-percentile map for May 2014 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 Stream Flow Color CodeStreams May 2014

Finally, in drought:
The weekly National Drought Monitor map from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/) on June 3, 2014, categorized about 9 percent of Virginia (in the southwestern corner and in the area around Martinsville) as being abnormally dry.

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:
4/29/14 – 0.1 percent abnormally dry;
4/1/14 – drought-free;
3/4/14 – drought-free;
6/4/13 – 0.7 percent abnormally dry.

Looking beyond Virginia: The June 3 Drought Monitor rated 43.6 percent of the United States (including all or parts of 33 states) as being abnormally dry or worse, and it rated 22.8 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:
4/29/14 – 41.3 percent abnormally dry or worse; 22.4 percent severe drought or worse;
4/1/14 – 44.7 percent abnormally dry or worse; 20.0 percent severe drought or worse;
3/4/14 – 46.8 percent abnormally dry or worse; 18.0 percent severe drought or worse;
6/4/13 – 49.6 percent abnormally dry or worse; 23.8 percent severe drought or worse.

In six states, over 50 percent of the state was categorized by the June 3 report as being in severe-or-worse drought (this was down from eight such states in the April 29, 2014, report; but note that 46 percent of Oregon and of Texas were rated as severe or worse):

Arizona – 73% (with 8% in extreme drought);
California – 100% (with 77% in extreme or exceptional drought; these continue to be the worst numbers in California since the start of the current drought in 2012);
Kansas – 76% (with 47% in extreme or exceptional drought);
Nevada – 87% (with 39% in extreme or exceptional drought);
New Mexico – 85% (with 36% in extreme or exceptional drought);
Oklahoma – 76% (with 61% in extreme or exceptional drought).

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