Category Archives: Weather

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

Below are images showing precipitation in the southeastern United States and stream flow in Virginia over the seven-day period ending April 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, 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 4/16/14), 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 4/16/14, these data remain provisional.

Precip April 15

Precip percentage April 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
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 4/16/14), 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:

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 April 15

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

Below are images showing precipitation in the southeastern United States and stream flow in Virginia over the seven-day period ending April 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, 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 3/26/14), 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 4/9/14, these data remain provisional.

precip April 8precip perc April 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
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 4/9/14), 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:

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 April 8

 

Preliminary Severe Weather Reports for April 3, 2014, from Storm Prediction Center; and a Look-back at the Massive Tornado Outbreak of April 3-4, 1974

Below is the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center’s map of preliminary (not yet verified) reports of high winds, hail, and tornadoes in the continental United States on April 3, 2014 (as of 8:59 EDT, or 1349Z/Greenwich Mean Time, on 4/4/14).  (No reports came in from Virginia.)  The 4/3/14 storm-report map and text of reports are available online at http://www.spc.noaa.gov/climo/reports/130613_rpts.html, and at that site you can also access the Center’s archive of maps and report lists for previous days going back several years.

yesterday Reports Graphic
The severe weather of April 3 this year came on the 40th anniversary of a massive tornado outbreak of April 3-4, 1974.  That event brought 148 tornadoes to 13 states from Missouri to the Carolinas and resulted in 330 deaths, over 5000 injuries, and $600 million in property damage.  A detailed account of the April 1974 tornado outbreak is available from the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS) , online at http://cocorahs.blogspot.com/2014/04/40th-anniversary-of-april-3-4-1974.html.

Virginia Water Status Report as of the End of March 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 March 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 March 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 = 2.4 (-1.2)

Bluefield (Va.-W.Va. state line) = 2.0 (-1.5)

Bristol (Tri-Cities Airport in Tenn., about 20 miles from Bristol, Va.-Tenn.)
= 2.3 (-1.1)

Charlottesville = 2.5 (-1.2)

Danville = 3.2 (-0.9)

Dulles Airport (Loudoun County)    = 4.1 (+0.7)

Lynchburg = 2.9 (-0.7)

Norfolk= 3.8 (+0.1)

Richmond = 3.2 (-0.8)

Roanoke = 2.8 (-0.7)

Wallops Island (Accomack County) = 3.2 (-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 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 March 2 to March 31, 2014.

March precip

 March precip percentage

Next, in stream flow: According to the U.S. Geological Survey WaterWatch for Virginia, average streamflow values for March 2014 at 148 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 73 percent of gages; above normal at about 4 percent; below normal at about 20 percent; and much below normal at about 3 percent.  The color-coded, flow-percentile map for March 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 March

Finally, our drought watch:
The weekly National Drought Monitor map from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/) on April 1, 2014, categorized Virginia as being drought-free.  This has been the rating for Virginia since the January 14, 2014, Drought Monitor report.  Prior to that, Virginia had been rated as having some percentage of the state’s area categorized as abnormally dry since the Drought Monitor report of October 29, 2013.

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:
3/4/14 – Drought-free;
1/28/14 – Drought-free;
12/31/13 – 0.2 percent abnormally dry;
4/2/13 – Drought-free.

Here’s a comment from the April 1, 2014, Drought Monitor report, on cold weather in Virginia in March 2014:
“…According to the National Weather Service, the month of March ended as the coldest on record at Washington Dulles Airport, breaking the previous record set in 1984.”

Looking beyond Virginia: The April 1Drought Monitor rated 44.7 percent of the United States (including all or parts of 36 states) as being abnormally dry or worse, and it rated 20.2 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:

3/4/14 – 46.8 percent abnormally dry or worse; 18.0 percent severe drought or worse;
1/28/14 – 49.1 percent abnormally dry or worse; 17.4 percent severe drought or worse;
12/31/14 – 45.8 percent abnormally dry or worse; 14.0 percent severe drought or worse;
4/2/13 – 64.6 percent abnormally dry or worse; 29.5 percent severe drought or worse.

In six states, over 50 percent of the state was categorized by the April 1 report as being in severe-or-worse drought (this is up from five such states in the March 4 report):
Arizona – 57% (with 3% in extreme drought);
California – 95% (with 69% in extreme or exceptional drought);
Kansas – 65% (with 14% in extreme drought);
Nevada – 82% (with 34% in extreme or exceptional drought);
New Mexico – 65% (with 25% in extreme drought);
Oklahoma – 51% (with 24%in extreme or exceptional drought).

Here are some comments from the April 1 Drought Monitor on the latest developments in long-running, severe drought in California (that state has had over 45 percent of its area categorized in severe-or-worse drought since the Drought Monitor report of May 7, 2013): “During the past week, a series of disturbances pushed on-shore from the Pacific delivering much-needed rain and snow to northern California and Oregon.  ….Despite short-term gains, the long-term deficits across the region remained substantial.  According to the California Department of Water Resources, California’s snowpack has increased since the first snow survey on January 3rd, but the latest survey results show California’s snow-water equivalent is only 32 percent of the average April 1st measurement when the snowpack is generally at its peak level prior to spring melt.”

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

Southeastern U.S. Precipitation and Virginia Stream Flow Look-back at Winter 2013-14

With spring 2014 well underway on April 2, here’s a look back at what happened with rainfall in the southeastern United States and stream flow in Virginia in the winter of 2013-14. 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 4/2/14), shows how the previous 90-day precipitation amounts in the southeastern United States compared to historical normal values for those periods. These data are provisional. Note that Virginia saw approximately equal areas of precipitation that were a bit below normal, about normal, and a bit above normal, with a couple of spots having well-above normal precipitation (the purple spots in the western and northwestern Virginia). These rainfall levels have removed the “abnormally dry” ratings that parts of Virginia experienced on-and-off through fall 2013, according to the weekly reports of the U.S. Drought Monitor (produced by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and available online at http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/). Between January 14 and March 25, 2014, the Drought Monitor rated Virginia as drought-free.

Precip Winter 2014

Outside of Virginia, note that parts of the southeastern United States received below-normal precipitation during this period, but much of the region received normal or above-normal precipitation (well above normal in some areas, particularly in North Carolina and Florida). The March 25, 2014, Drought Monitor categorized about six percent of the region as abnormally dry, compared to approximately 28 percent on December 24, 2013.

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 4/2/14), compares average daily stream flow to historical records for the period February 14-March 31, 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.

Streams 45 day
Streams since 2001

 

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:
[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:
March 2014

On Virginia Water Radio for 3-31-14: Air, Water, and Spring Wildfire Season in Virginia

This week, in the middle of Virginia’s spring wildfire season (Feb. 15–April 30),  Virginia Water Radio examines some fundamental elements that contribute to spring fire potential.  Click here to have a listen! (2 min/50 sec)

vwr_header

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.

“Two Seasons in 12 Hours” in Virginia Produced by Strong Cold Front on March 12-13, 2014

A strong cold front passed through Virginia beginning in the afternoon of March 12, 2014, and continuing into the early hours of March 13.  The weather system produced high winds and dropped spring-like high temperatures in the 60s on March 12 to highs in the 30s and 40s on March 13.  For an interesting description of that weather event, including the “two seasons” phrase quoted in this post’s title, please click the following for a 34-second recording of comments in the morning of March 14 from NOAA Weather Radio, in a broadcast from Blacksburg Forecast Office.

The high winds from the front’s passage resulted in number of downed-tree reports, according to the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center maps of preliminary storm reports for March 12, available online at  http://www.spc.noaa.gov/climo/reports/140312_rpts.html.

The weather system also produced some dramatic sky views and sky changes.  Three examples are shown in the photos below.

Shenandoah River Guest Park Cullers Overlook Cold Front Clouds Mar 12 2014 5 pm

View of clouds passing over the Shenandoah River at Cullers Overlook in Andy Guest Shenandoah River State Park in Warren County, about 5 p.m. on March 12, 2014.

Blue Ridge clouds view from RT 340 at St Paul Lutheran Church N of Shenandoah 526 pm March 12 2014

View of clouds over the Blue Ridge, about 5:25 p.m., March 12, 2014. The view is from U.S. Rt. 340 a few miles north of Shenandoah in Page County, Va., looking across the Page Valley, part of the watershed of the South Fork Shenandoah River.

Blue Ridge view across Page Valley at Saint Paul Lutheran north of Shenandoah Rt 340 528 pm Mar 12 2014

Same view as photo above, taken about two minutes later, as sunshine and a rainbow replaced some of the clouds over the Blue Ridge.

The Virginia Water Resources Research Center thanks the agencies mentioned for the information products and services they provide.

On Virginia Water Radio for 3-10-14: Tornado Preparedness

This week, Virginia Water Radio features a siren, a storm, and lots of safety suggestions to call attention to Virginia’s statewide tornado drill and to year-round tornado preparedness.   Click here to have a listen! (3 min/6 sec)

vwr_header

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 February 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 February 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 February 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

4.0 (+1.2)

 

Bluefield
(Va.-W.Va. state line)

2.6 (-0.2)

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

3.3 (-0.2)

Charlottesville

2.8 (+0.1)

 

Danville

1.8 (-1.2)

 

Dulles Airport
(Loudoun County)

3.8 (+1.1)

Lynchburg

3.8 (+0.9)

 

Norfolk

3.0 (-0.1)

 

Richmond

3.0 (+0.3)

 

Roanoke

4.5 (+1.6)

 

Wallops Island
(Accomack County)

2.6 (-0.2)

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 January 29—February 27, 2014. Precip monthly Feb 2014

 Precip Perc monthly Feb 2014


Next, in stream flow
: According to the U.S. Geological Survey WaterWatch for Virginia, average streamflow values for February 2014 at about 145 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 47 percent of gages; above normal at about 42 percent; much above normal at about 10 percent; and below normal at less than one percent.  The color-coded, flow-percentile map for February 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 Code


 Streams Feb 2014

Finally, on the drought watch: The weekly National Drought Monitor map from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/) on March 4, 2014, categorized Virginia as being drought-free.  This has been the rating for Virginia since the January 14, 2014, Drought Monitor report.  Prior to that, Virginia had been rated as having some percentage of the state’s area categorized as abnormally dry since the Drought Monitor report of October 29, 2013.

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:
1/28/14: drought-free;
12/31/13: 0.2 percent abnormally dry;
11/26/13: 62 percent abnormally dry;
3/5/13: 11 percent abnormally dry.

Looking beyond Virginia: the March 4 Drought Monitor rated 46.8 percent of the United States (including all or parts of 36 states) as being abnormally dry or worse, and it rated 18.0 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:
1/28/14: 49.1 percent abnormally dry or worse; 17.4 percent severe drought or worse;
12/31/14: 45.8 percent abnormally dry or worse; 14.0 percent severe drought or worse;
11/26/13: 50.8 percent abnormally dry or worse; 13.8 percent severe drought or worse;
3/5/13: 63.6 percent abnormally dry or worse; 30.5 percent severe drought or worse.

In five states, over 50 percent of the state was categorized by the March 4 report as being in severe-or-worse drought:
Arizona  – 55%;
California – 91% (with 66% in extreme or exceptional drought);
Nevada – 73% (with 33% in extreme drought);
New Mexico – 67%;
Oregon – 53%.

Here are some comments from the March 4 Drought Monitor on the long-running, severe drought in California, and the modest benefits the state received from a late-February storm:

“A blockbuster storm struck California as the calendar turned from February to March, averting a record-breaking season for dryness.  From February 26-March 2, the potent storm—and a weaker, initial system—accounted for more than 75 percent of the season-to-date precipitation in California….  At the height of the second storm, on February 28, Los Angeles—with 2.24 inches—experienced its wettest day since March 20, 2011.  Los Angeles also received at least an inch of rain on 3 consecutive days (February 27 – March 1) for the first time since December 18-20, 2010. Benefits from the storms extended northward along the California coast and into some northern areas of the state, leading to a modest reduction in the coverage of extreme to exceptional drought (D3 to D4).  However, short-term benefits from the storms were mostly offset by still-large, 3-year precipitation deficits, low reservoir levels, and a sub-par snowpack.  The California Department of Water Sources reported a slight jump in the water equivalency of the high-elevation Sierra Nevada snowpack.  The water content, which averaged just 5 inches (22 percent of the late-February normal) prior to the two storms, climbed to 8 inches (33 percent) by March 5….”

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

Drought in the Great Plains is Focus of Apr. 1-4, 2014, Symposium in Lincoln, Neb.

Maybe it’s not dry right now (early March 2014) where you are (say, Virginia), or maybe it is (say, California, in a big, serious way).   But in the Great Plains of the United States, drought and its effects on water resources are a constant reality or at least threat, and this has had a powerful influence on the region’s history, culture, economics, environment, and law.  Those impacts of drought are the focus of “Drought in the Life, Cultures, and Landscapes of the Great Plains,” Apr. 1-4, 2014, in Lincoln, Nebraska.  This is the 40th annual symposium of the Center for Great Plains Studies, located at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  For more information, visit http://www.unl.edu/plains/2014-symposium; phone (402) 772-3082; or e-mail: cgps@unl.edu.

39 Niobrara river cliff at Fort Niobrara NWR Jul13 2011

A Great Plains water resource: the Niobrara River in Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge, near Valentine, Nebraska, July 13, 2011.