Virginia Precipitation and Stream Flow for the 7-day Period Ending July 18, 2018, Plus an Overview of Flooding Nationwide and a Mid-Month Drought Assessment

Below are several items summarizing recent precipitation and stream flow:

  1. Images showing precipitation in Virginia and other areas of the United States for the period, and stream flow in Virginia, over the seven-day period ending July 18, 2018 (information available as of July 19).
  2. Flooding overview maps for Virginia and nationwide, as of July 19.
  3. An assessment of drought conditions in Virginia according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

The Virginia Water Resources Research Center thanks the agencies mentioned below for providing precipitation and stream-flow information and images. For the current month’s other weekly reports on stream flow and precipitation, please see the News Grouper posts available at this link: https://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/?s=Virginia+Precipitation.

For monthly reviews of precipitation, stream flow, and drought, please see the posts available at this link: https://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 and West Virginia Science Center’s Web site, https://www.usgs.gov/centers/va-wv-water.

GAGE July 2018 Rapidan River near Ruckersville Rt 29 Madison-Greene Line ONE Jul22 2013

July 2018 Gaging Station of the Month: Rapidan River near Ruckersville (Greene-Madison county line), July 22, 2013.  U.S. Geological Survey information from this gage is online at https://waterdata.usgs.gov/va/nwis/uv?site_no=01665500.  For the Virginia map of gaging sites, see https://waterdata.usgs.gov/va/nwis/rt.

Precipitation

The following two color-coded maps show southeastern U.S. precipitation amounts (top map) and the percent of normal precipitation compared to normal for this period of the year (bottom map) over the seven-day period ending July 18, 2018.  As of that date, these data were provisional (needing to be verified for accuracy and subject to possible revision).  The maps were accessed from the High Plains Regional Climate Center, located at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, online at https://hprcc.unl.edu/maps.php?map=ACISClimateMaps.

Precip VA July 18Precip Perc VA

Another source of precipitation data is the National Weather Service’s Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service, online at http://water.weather.gov/precip/.  The site provides maps showing precipitation nationwide or by state for specific days, months, or years.  The site also has the capability to show county boundaries, and other map layers available include river flood forecasts and current flood/severe weather warnings.  Shown below is the continental U.S. 7-day precipitation map as of 8 a.m. EDT on July 18, 2018.  Please note that UTC, the time shown on the maps at the site, is five hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time and four hours ahead of Eastern Daylight Time.

Precip US Jul18

Stream Flow

Seven-day-average stream flows at Virginia gaging stations as of July 18, 2018, are indicated in the map below, from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) WaterWatch for Virginia, accessed online at http://waterwatch.usgs.gov/index.php?m=pa07d&r=va&w=map.  The map’s color-coded dots compare the previous week’s average stream flows to the normal flow levels for that week over the historical record for each gaging station.  The color codes/percentile classes used by USGS are as shown in the chart following the map.  Note: Additional gaging stations (such as for reservoirs or for inactive sites) are shown on maps available at the USGS’ National Water Information System Mapper, online at https://maps.waterdata.usgs.gov/mapper/index.html.

Streams Jul18

KEEP on deskto - Stream flow code graph

Flooding Overview

As of about 9:30 a.m. EDT on July 19, 2018, about nine stream-gaging stations in Virginia or in nearby areas of adjacent states were experiencing flooding or near flood stage, according to the National Weather Service’s Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service’s (AHPS) map of stream and river levels relative to flood stage (color-coded) for Virginia and nearby areas.  The AHPS map for Virginia is shown below along with the nationwide map as of the same time.  The maps are available online at http://water.weather.gov/ahps/forecasts.php; at that site, one can select Virginia or any other state of interest.

Flood 01 VAFlood 02 US

Mid-month Drought Status Update

The Virginia Drought Monitoring Task Force (DMTF), a collaboration of state and federal agencies, issued its latest Virginia drought-status report in early June 2018.  The report is available at the DMTF Web site, http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WaterSupplyWaterQuantity/Drought.aspx.  The Task Force will next meet when a return to dry conditions demands it.

As of July 17, 2018, the weekly U.S. Drought Monitor from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, online at http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/, reported that about 0.6 percent of Virginia was rated as “abnormally dry.”  The Drought Monitor had reported Virginia as essentially drought-free since the week of June 5, 2018.

Virginia Water-related Government Meetings for July 18-August 3, 2018

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 events, please see the “Announcements” posts at the Virginia Water Monitoring Council Web site, http://www.vwmc.vwrrc.vt.edu/.

REGULAR MEETINGS OF STATEWIDE BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS

7/24/18, 9 a.m.: Department of Health’s Waterworks Advisory Committee.  At Sydnor Hydro, Inc., 2111 Magnolia Street in Richmond.

7/24/18, 9:30 a.m.: Marine Resources Commission.  At 2600 Washington Avenue in Newport News.

7/24/18, 2 p.m.: Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services.  At the Historic Rural Retreat Depot Museum and Event Center, 105 West Railroad Avenue in Rural Retreat (Wythe County).

7/26/18, 9:30 a.m.: Board for Waterworks and Wastewater Works Operators and Onsite Sewage System Professionals.  At the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation 9960 Mayland Drive in Richmond.  The Board’s Education and Training Committee meets that day at 9 a.m. at the same location.

7/31/18, 9:30 a.m.: Board for Architects, Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, Certified Interior Designers, and Landscape Architects/Land Surveyor Apprenticeship Committee.  At the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation 9960 Mayland Drive in Richmond.

8/2/18, 10 a.m.:  Board for Waste Management Facility Operators.  At the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation 9960 Mayland Drive in Richmond.

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VIRGINIA GENERAL ASSEMBLY WATER-RELATED MEETINGS

For meetings of legislative committees and commissions, see http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?181+oth+MTG.  Links to information about General Assembly commissions, councils, and special interim committees coordinated by the Division of Legislative Services are available online at http://dls.virginia.gov/commissions.html.

None during this period.

*          *          *

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.

7/23/18, 3 p.m.: Stakeholder meeting for the Commonwealth Regional Council on Phase III of the Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) for the Chesapeake Bay TMDL (which was published in December 2010).  At 1 Mill Street in Farmville (Prince Edward County).  The Commonwealth Regional Council is Virginia’s planning district #14, covering the counties of Amelia, Buckingham, Charlotte, Cumberland, Lunenburg, and Prince Edward.

7/24/18, 6 p.m., and 7/31/18, 4:30 p.m., on the TMDL implementation plan for bacterial impairments in the Mattaponi River and the following tributaries: Brock Run, Chapel Creek, Doctors Creek, Glady Run, Maracossic Creek, Mat River, Matta River, Mattaponi River, Motto River, Po River, Polecat Creek, Poni River, Reedy Creek, and Root Swamp, all located in the York River watershed in Caroline, King and Queen, King William, Orange, and Spotsylvania Counties.  The July 24 meeting is at the C. Melvin Snow Memorial Library, 8740 Courthouse Road in Spotsylvania; the July 31 meeting is at Bowling Green Town Hall, 117 Butler Street in Bowling Green (Caroline County).

7/31/18, 9 a.m.: Stakeholder meeting for the Central Shenandoah Planning District on Phase III of the Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) for the Chesapeake Bay TMDL (which was published in December 2010).  At Brite Transit Facility, 51 Ivy Ridge Lane in Fishersville (Augusta County).  The Central Planning District covers the counties of Augusta, Bath, Rockbridge, Rockingham, and Highland, and the cities of Harrisonburg, Lexington, Staunton, and Waynesboro.

*          *          * 

MEETINGS ON OTHER SPECIFIC TOPICS
(topics listed alphabetically) 

Dams
7/19/18, 9:30 a.m.: Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Districts Dam Owner Workgroup.  At the Augusta County Government Center, 75 Government Center Lane in Verona.

Energy – All
June-August 2018: Virginia Energy Plan public listening sessions and facilitate stakeholder discussions.  In summer 2018, the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) is holding a series of public-comment sessions and facilitated stakeholder discussions regarding the 2018 update of Virginia Energy Plan, which was first developed in 2010 and updated in 2014.  DMME is to submit the updated plan to the governor, State Corporation Commission, and Virginia General Assembly by October 1, 2018.  More information on the state energy plan is available online at https://www.dmme.virginia.gov/de/VirginiaEnergyPlan.shtml.

Public listening sessions are as follows:
6/25/18, 9 a.m.-11 a.m., on the stakeholder process; at the Library of Virginia, 800 East Broad Street in Richmond.
7/23/18, 1 p.m.-4 p.m., on energy storage; at the State Capitol, 1000 Bank Street in Richmond.
7/25/18, 12 p.m.-2 p.m., on offshore wind energy; atChris opher Newport University, Gaines Theatre, University Place in Newport News.
7/30/18, 5 p.m.-7 p.m., on general energy issues; at the Roanoke Higher Education Center, Room 212, 108 North Jefferson Street in Roanoke.
7/31/18,5 p.m.-7 p.m., on general energy issues; at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center, Room CR 103/104, One Partnership Circle in Abingdon.

Facilitated stakeholder discussions are as follows:
7/10/18, 10 a.m.-12 p.m., on solar and wind; at Virginia Commonwealth University, Academic Learning Commons, Room 1201, 1000 Floyd Avenue in Richmond.
7/18/18, 10 a.m.-12 p.m., on energy efficiency; at the Patrick Henry Building, East Reading Room, 1111 East Broad Street in Richmond.
7/18/18, 1 p.m.-3 p.m., on electric vehicles; at the Patrick Henry Building, East Reading Room, 1111 East Broad Street in Richmond.
8/22/18, 10 a.m.-12 p.m., on solar and wind; at Virginia Commonwealth University, Academic Learning Commons, Room 1201, 1000 Floyd Avenue in Richmond.

Energy – Coal Ash Management
7/19/18, 7 p.m.: Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) public hearing concerning the solid-waste permitting processes associated with the closure of the closure of Pond A at the Celanese Acetate Plant in Narrows (Giles County).  At the Giles County Technical Center, 1827 Wenonah Avenue in Pearisburg.  According to the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall notice for this meeting, the “proposed permit was prepared in accordance with and includes requirements of the Virginia Solid Waste Management Regulations.  This pond is approximately 7.2 acres and was used for the management of coal combustion by-products.  It will be closed in place and covered with a geomembrane cap, synthetic drainage layer, and vegetated soil layer.”  The public comment period runs 6/13/18 to 8/3/18.

Energy – Solar
7/23/18, 12 p.m.: Virginia Solar Energy Development and Energy Storage Authority.  At the State Capitol, House Room 1, 1000 Bank Street in Richmond.  The 2015 General Assembly (SB 1099) created this Authority to facilitate, coordinate, and support the development of the solar energy industry and solar-powered electric energy facilities in the Commonwealth.  The 2017 General Assembly (SB 1258) changed its name to add “energy storage” and added to its purposes to position the Commonwealth as a leader in energy-storage technology.

Groundwater
7/19/18, 9 a.m.: HB1186 Groundwater Human Consumption Work Group.  At the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Central Office, 1111 East Main Street in Richmond.  According to the Regulatory Town Hall notice for this meeting, this work group was “established by the Department of Environmental Quality to evaluate issues raised by House Bill 1186 during the 2018 General Assembly Session, specifically to consider developing options for prioritizing human consumptive water use through the groundwater withdrawal permit process.  A major focus of the group will be the development of stakeholder positions regarding alterative human consumption proposals and the development of any additional concepts through brainstorming by the group.”

Mining and Mined Land Reclamation
7/24/18, 8 a.m.: Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) formal hearing to review the Show Cause Order of 07/24/17 (modified 02/08/18) for A& G Coal Corporation, Permit No. 1101914.  At the DMME Office, 3405 Mountain Empire Road in Big Stone Gap (Wise County).  According to the Regulatory Town Hall notice for this meeting, the proceeding is to determine whether or not a pattern of violations exists and whether grounds exist for suspension or revocation of the corporation’s right to mine under Permit Number 1101914.

7/24/18, 8 a.m.: Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) formal hearing to review the Show Cause Order of 12/07/17 for Baden Reclamation Co, Inc., Permit Number 1101953.  At the DMME Office, 3405 Mountain Empire Road in Big Stone Gap (Wise County).  According to the Regulatory Town Hall notice for this meeting, the proceeding is to determine whether or not a pattern of violations exists and whether grounds exist for suspension or revocation of the corporation’s right to mine under Permit Number 1101953.

Ports
7/23/18 and 7/24/18: Virginia Port Authority meetings.  7/23/18, 1 p.m.: Nominating Committee; 7/23/18, 2 p.m.: Growth and Operations Committee; 7/23/18, 3:45 p.m.: Finance and Audit Committee; 7/23/18, 5 p.m.: Executive Committee; 7/24/18, 9 a.m.: Board of Commissioners.  All meetings at 600 World Trade Center, 101 West Main Street in Norfolk.

Scenic Rivers
7/19/18, 12 p.m.: Historic Falls of the James Scenic River Advisory Board.  At Richmond City Hall, 900 East Broad Street in Richmond.

Water Quality Regulations and Standards
7/19/18, 10 a.m.:  Technical Advisory Committee meeting on amendment and reissuance of the Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (VPDES) General Permit Regulation for Stormwater Discharges Associated with Industrial Activity.  At the Department of Environmental Quality Piedmont Regional Office, 4949-A Cox Road in Glen Allen (Henrico County).  The relevant section of the Virginia Administrative Code is 9 VAC 25-151.  The Notice of Intended Regulatory Action on this rulemaking was published in the Virginia Register of Regulations on February 19, 2018.  More information on this regulatory process is available online at http://townhall.virginia.gov/L/viewchapter.cfm?chapterid=1809.

On Virginia Water Radio for the Week of July 16, 2018: An Introduction to Marshes

Virginia Water Radio’s episode for the week of July 9, 2018, is “A Marsh Introduction, Featuring ‘The Prettiest Marsh’ by Teresa Whitaker.”  The 3 min./46 sec. episode, available online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/2018/07/episode-429-7-16-18-marsh-introduction.html, opens a two-week series on marshes.  This week’s episode is an update of a July 2013 episode.

429 Image 2 Marsh view at Eastern Shore NWR Oct7 USED Grouper 4-4-17Marsh in Eastern Shore National Wildlife Refuge in Northampton County, Va., October 7, 2007.


Virginia Water Radio’s is a weekly broadcast/podcast produced by the Virginia Water Resources Research Center.  The home page is http://www.virginiawaterradio.org.  Have a listen or two!

Virginia Water-related Government Meetings for July 12-July 27, 2018

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 events, please see the “Announcements” posts at the Virginia Water Monitoring Council Web site, http://www.vwmc.vwrrc.vt.edu/.

REGULAR MEETINGS OF STATEWIDE BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS

7/24/18, 9 a.m.: Department of Health’s Waterworks Advisory Committee.  At Sydnor Hydro, Inc., 2111 Magnolia Street in Richmond.

7/24/18, 9:30 a.m.: Marine Resources Commission.  At 2600 Washington Avenue in Newport News.

7/24/18, 2 p.m.: Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services.  At the Historic Rural Retreat Depot Museum and Event Center, 105 West Railroad Avenue in Rural Retreat (Wythe County).

7/26/18, 9:30 a.m.: Board for Waterworks and Wastewater Works Operators and Onsite Sewage System Professionals.  At the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation 9960 Mayland Drive in Richmond.  The Board’s Education and Training Committee meets that day at 9 a.m. at the same location.

*          *          *

VIRGINIA GENERAL ASSEMBLY WATER-RELATED MEETINGS

For meetings of legislative committees and commissions, see http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?181+oth+MTG.  Links to information about General Assembly commissions, councils, and special interim committees coordinated by the Division of Legislative Services are available online at http://dls.virginia.gov/commissions.html. 

None during this period.

*          *          *

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.

7/13/18, 1 p.m.: Stakeholder meeting by the Rappahannock-Rapidan Regional Commission on Phase III of the Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP ) for the Chesapeake Bay TMDL (which was published in December 2010).  At the Culpeper County Library, 271 Southgate Shopping Center in Culpeper.  According to the Regulatory Town Hall notice for this meeting, this is the first of four stakeholder meetings that the the Rappahannock-Rapidan Regional Commission will hold.  This meeting will focus on urban pollutant source sector recommendations for Culpeper, Fauquier, Madison, Orange, and Rappahannock Counties.

7/17/18, 1 p.m.: Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) coordination meeting with Hampton Roads Planning District Commission (HRPDC) staff on Phase III of the Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) for the Chesapeake Bay TMDL (which was published in December 2010).  At the HRPDC Office, 723 Woodlake Drive in Chesapeake.

7/18/18, 1 p.m.: Stakeholder meeting for the Richmond regional area on Phase III of the Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) for the Chesapeake Bay TMDL (which was published in December 2010).  At the Department of Environmental Quality Central Office, 1111 East Main Street in Richmond.  According to the Regulatory Town Hall notice for this meeting, “this meeting will kick off the WIP III effort in the Richmond region for the unregulated urban and developed lands sector.  Local governments, non-governmental organizations and soil & water conservation districts have been invited to attend the meeting.  The purpose of the meeting is to begin identifying additional actions that can be deployed to address pollutant loadings from unregulated sources such as stormwater runoff, septic systems, and urban forestry.”

7/24/18, 6 p.m., on the TMDL implementation plan for bacterial impairments in the Mattaponi River and the following tributaries: Brock Run, Chapel Creek, Doctors Creek, Glady Run, Maracossic Creek, Mat River, Matta River, Mattaponi River, Motto River, Po River, Polecat Creek, Poni River, Reedy Creek, and Root Swamp, all located in the York River watershed in Caroline, King and Queen, King William, Orange, and Spotsylvania Counties.  At the C. Melvin Snow Memorial Library, 8740 Courthouse Road in Spotsylvania.

*          *          *

MEETINGS ON OTHER SPECIFIC TOPICS
(topics listed alphabetically)

Biosolids (Treated Wastewater Sludge) Land-application Permit Requests
7/12/18, 6 p.m.: On the permit-modification application by Recyc Systems, Inc., of Remington, Va., to modify its existing Virginia Pollution Abatement (VPA) permit to apply biosolids to about 681 additional acres in Greene County.  At the Greene County Administration Building, 40 Celt Road in Stanardsville.  More information on VPA permits is available online at https://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/LandApplicationBeneficialReuse.aspx.

Dams
7/19/18, 9:30 a.m.: Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Districts Dam Owner Workgroup.  At the Augusta County Government Center, 75 Government Center Lane in Verona.

Energy – Coal Ash Management
7/19/18, 7 p.m.: Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) public hearing concerning the solid-waste permitting processes associated with the closure of the closure of Pond A at the Celanese Acetate Plant in Narrows (Giles County).  At the Giles County Technical Center, 1827 Wenonah Avenue in Pearisburg.  According to the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall notice for this meeting, the “proposed permit was prepared in accordance with and includes requirements of the Virginia Solid Waste Management Regulations.  This pond is approximately 7.2 acres and was used for the management of coal combustion by-products.  It will be closed in place and covered with a geomembrane cap, synthetic drainage layer, and vegetated soil layer.”  The public comment period runs 6/13/18 to 8/3/18.

Energy – Solar
7/23/18, 12 p.m.: Virginia Solar Energy Development and Energy Storage Authority.  At House  Room 1 of The Capitol, 1000 Bank Street in Richmond.  The 2015 General Assembly (SB 1099) created this Authority to facilitate, coordinate, and support the development of the solar energy industry and solar-powered electric energy facilities in the Commonwealth.  The 2017 General Assembly (SB 1258) changed its name to add “energy storage” and added to its purposes to position the Commonwealth as a leader in energy-storage technology.

Groundwater
7/19/18, 9 a.m.: HB1186 Groundwater Human Consumption Work Group.  At the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Central Office, 1111 East Main Street in Richmond.  According to the Regulatory Town Hall notice for this meeting, this work group was “established by the Department of Environmental Quality to evaluate issues raised by House Bill 1186 during the 2018 General Assembly Session, specifically to consider developing options for prioritizing human consumptive water use through the groundwater withdrawal permit process.  A major focus of the group will be the development of stakeholder positions regarding alterative human consumption proposals and the development of any additional concepts through brainstorming by the group.”

Mining and Mined Land Reclamation
7/24/18, 8 a.m.: Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) formal hearing to review the Show Cause Order of 07/24/17 (modified 02/08/18) for A& G Coal Corporation, Permit No. 1101914.  At the DMME Office, 3405 Mountain Empire Road in Big Stone Gap (Wise County).  According to the Regulatory Town Hall notice for this meeting, the proceeding is to determine whether or not a pattern of violations exists and whether grounds exist for suspension or revocation of the corporation’s right to mine under Permit Number 1101914.

7/24/18, 8 a.m.: Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) formal hearing to review the Show Cause Order of 12/07/17 for Baden Reclamation Co, Inc., Permit Number 1101953.  At the DMME Office, 3405 Mountain Empire Road in Big Stone Gap (Wise County).  According to the Regulatory Town Hall notice for this meeting, the proceeding is to determine whether or not a pattern of violations exists and whether grounds exist for suspension or revocation of the corporation’s right to mine under Permit Number 1101953.

Water Quality Regulations and Standards
7/19/18, 10 a.m.:  Technical Advisory Committee meeting on amendment and reissuance of the Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (VPDES) General Permit Regulation for Stormwater Discharges Associated with Industrial Activity.  At the Department of Environmental Quality Piedmont Regional Office, 4949-A Cox Road in Glen Allen (Henrico County).  The relevant section of the Virginia Administrative Code is 9 VAC 25-151.  The Notice of Intended Regulatory Action on this rulemaking was published in the Virginia Register of Regulations on February 19, 2018.  More information on this regulatory process is available online at http://townhall.virginia.gov./L/viewchapter.cfm?chapterid=1809.

Virginia Precipitation and Stream Flow for the 7-day Period Ending July 10, 2018, Plus an Overview of Flooding Nationwide

Below are several items summarizing recent precipitation and stream flow:

  1. Images showing precipitation in Virginia and other areas of the United States for the period, and stream flow in Virginia, over the seven-day period ending July 10, 2018 (information available as of July 11).
  2. Flooding overview maps for Virginia and nationwide, as of July 11.

The Virginia Water Resources Research Center thanks the agencies mentioned below for providing precipitation and stream-flow information and images. For the current month’s other weekly reports on stream flow and precipitation, please see the News Grouper posts available at this link: https://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/?s=Virginia+Precipitation.

For monthly reviews of precipitation, stream flow, and drought, please see the posts available at this link: https://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 and West Virginia Science Center’s Web site, https://www.usgs.gov/centers/va-wv-water.

GAGE July 2018 Rapidan River near Ruckersville Rt 29 Madison-Greene Line ONE Jul22 2013

July 2018 Gaging Station of the Month: Rapidan River near Ruckersville (Greene-Madison county line), July 22, 2013.  U.S. Geological Survey information from this gage is online at https://waterdata.usgs.gov/va/nwis/uv?site_no=01665500.  For the Virginia map of gaging sites, see https://waterdata.usgs.gov/va/nwis/rt.

Precipitation

The following two color-coded maps show southeastern U.S. precipitation amounts (top map) and the percent of normal precipitation compared to normal for this period of the year (bottom map) over the seven-day period ending July 10, 2018.  As of that date, these data were provisional (needing to be verified for accuracy and subject to possible revision).  The maps were accessed from the High Plains Regional Climate Center, located at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, online at https://hprcc.unl.edu/maps.php?map=ACISClimateMaps.

Precip Jul10Precipperc Jul10 

Another source of precipitation data is the National Weather Service’s Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service, online at http://water.weather.gov/precip/.  The site provides maps showing precipitation nationwide or by state for specific days, months, or years.  The site also has the capability to show county boundaries, and other map layers available include river flood forecasts and current flood/severe weather warnings.  Shown below is the continental U.S. 7-day precipitation map as of 8 a.m. EDT on July 11, 2018.  Please note that UTC, the time shown on the maps at the site, is five hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time and four hours ahead of Eastern Daylight Time.

PReicp US July11

Stream Flow

Seven-day-average stream flows at Virginia gaging stations as of July 10, 2018, are indicated in the map below, from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) WaterWatch for Virginia, accessed online at http://waterwatch.usgs.gov/index.php?m=pa07d&r=va&w=map.  The map’s color-coded dots compare the previous week’s average stream flows to the normal flow levels for that week over the historical record for each gaging station.  The color codes/percentile classes used by USGS are as shown in the chart following the map.  Note: Additional gaging stations (such as for reservoirs or for inactive sites) are shown on maps available at the USGS’ National Water Information System Mapper, online at https://maps.waterdata.usgs.gov/mapper/index.html.

Streams Jul10

KEEP on deskto - Stream flow code graph

Flooding Overview

As of about 11 a.m. EDT on July 11, 2018, about 18 stream-gaging stations in Virginia or in nearby areas of adjacent states were experiencing flooding or near flood stage, according to the National Weather Service’s Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service’s (AHPS) map of stream and river levels relative to flood stage (color-coded) for Virginia and nearby areas.  The AHPS map for Virginia is shown below along with the nationwide map as of the same time.  The maps are available online at http://water.weather.gov/ahps/forecasts.php; at that site, one can select Virginia or any other state of interest.

Flooding 01 VA July 11

Flooding 02 US July 11

On Virginia Water Radio for the Week of July 9, 2018: Discovering a Western Virginia River with the 7th President’s Name

Virginia Water Radio’s episode for the week of July 9, 2018, is “Introducing the Jackson River.”  The 3 min./45 sec. episode, available online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/2018/07/episode-428-7-9-18-introducing-jackson.html, is the last of a series of summer 2018 episodes on relatively small and perhaps less well-known Virginia waterways.

428 Image 1 Jackson River in Covington river access park on Rt 18 Jun3 2017 6pm HAVE AUDIO USED Radio 428Jackson River in Covington, Va., June 5, 2017.


Virginia Water Radio’s is a weekly broadcast/podcast produced by the Virginia Water Resources Research Center.  The home page is http://www.virginiawaterradio.org.  Have a listen or two!

Virginia Water Status Report as of the end of June 2018, Plus a Look at Drought Nationally

Here is the Virginia Water Central News Grouper’s monthly water-status report on precipitation, stream flow, and drought, as of end of June 2018.  The Virginia Water Resources Research Center thanks the agencies mentioned below for providing the data and maps used in this post.  Icons for precipitation, stream flow, and drought are by George Wills of Blacksburg, Va. (https://www.etsy.com/people/BlacksburgArt).  For previous monthly water status reports, please see this link: https://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/?s=Water+Status.

Water status icon precipitation by George Wills
Here are National Weather Service (NWS) preliminary (still needing verification) precipitation totals for June 2018 at 11 Virginia or near-Virginia locations, along with the “normal” (three-decade average) for this month of the year at each location.  Also shown are the precipitation totals at each location for the previous 12 months and the annual precipitation normals for each location.  The values are in inches.

Location June 2018 Observed Monthly Normal July 2017-

June 2018 Observed

Annual Normal
Blacksburg 1.50 4.00 39.65 40.89
Bluefield1 1.31 4.14 36.82 39.63
Bristol2 3.76 3.90 46.58 41.01
Charlottesville3 7.68 3.73 42.93 42.71
Danville* 3.86 3.85 40.82 44.41
Lynchburg 4.87 3.62 41.45 41.57
Norfolk 4.96 4.26 49.24 46.53
Richmond 13.23 RH 3.93 52.04 43.60
Roanoke 3.63 3.83 38.66 41.25
Wallops Island4 5.18 3.29 51.72 40.84
Washington-Dulles Airport5 4.17 3.98 45.11 41.54

RH = record monthly high for the location and month of the year.
*NWS reported nine days of data missing at Danville in January 2018.

Location notes
1 – The Bluefield location is the Mercer County, W. Va., airport, near the Va.-W.Va. state line.
2- The Bristol location Tri-Cities Airport in Tenn., about 20 miles from Bristol, Va./Tenn.
3 – The Charlottesville location is the Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport.
4 – Wallops Island is in Accomack County.
5 – Washington-Dulles Airport is in Loudoun County.

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 period from 1981 to 2010.  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/data-access/land-based-station-data/land-based-datasets/climate-normals.

For graphs of precipitation, visit the High Plains Regional Climate Center at https://hprcc.unl.edu/maps.php?map=ACISClimateMaps), where you can find maps of total precipitation and percent of normal precipitation for the past 7, 30, 60, or 90 days for all U.S. regions; 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 preliminary maps of the percent-of-normal precipitation for the southeastern United States for the previous 30 days, 60 days, and 90 days, through June 30, 2018.

Precip 30Precip 60Precip 90 

Water status icon stream flow by George Wills
According to the U.S. Geological Survey WaterWatch for Virginia (online at https://waterwatch.usgs.gov/index.php?m=mv01d&r=va&w=map), monthly average stream flow values for June 2018 at 161 stream gages in Virginia and just beyond the state border were as follows, compared to the historical range for each given gage:
within the normal historical range – about 39% of gages;
below normal – about 1%;
above normal – about 22%.
much above normal – about 38%.

Shown below is the color-coded, flow-percentile map for this period, accessed at the Web site given in the paragraph above.  The chart below the map shows the color codes/percentile classes used by USGS to compared flows to historical records for the month.

Streams map June 2018 KEEP on deskto - Stream flow code graph

An overall look at Virginia streamflow conditions is provided in the USGS WaterWatch summary plot of daily average streamflow conditions, compared to historical records for any given date.  Below is the summary plot for 88 Virginia sites during the 45-day period ending July 2, 2018, accessed on July 5, 2018, at https://waterwatch.usgs.gov/index.php?id=pa01d&sid=w__plot&r=va.

 Streams Plot July 2

Water status icons groundwater by George Wills

Information on current groundwater levels in Virginia monitoring wells is available from the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Water Information System, online at http://waterdata.usgs.gov/va/nwis/current/?type=gw; and from the USGS Climate Response Network, online at http://groundwaterwatch.usgs.gov/net/ogwnetwork.asp?ncd=crn (at that page, you can find a national map showing the status of groundwater monitoring wells compared to historical values).

 Water status icon drought watch by George Wills

DROUGHT IN VIRGINIA

The weekly U.S. Drought Monitor map from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/) for July 3, 2018, categorized Virginia as drought-free.  The Commonwealth has been essentially drought-free since the June 5, 2018, Drought Monitor report.

Drought Monitor categories are as follows:
D0 = abnormally dry;
D1 = moderate drought;
D2 = severe drought;
D3 = extreme drought;
D4 = exceptional drought.

The Drought Monitor notes that it “focuses on broad-scale conditions [and] local conditions may vary.”

For comparison, here are Virginia ratings from previous Drought Monitors from about one month, two months, three months, and one year ago:
6/5/18 – drought-free;
5/1/18– 28.5% abnormally dry or worse; 6.0% moderate drought;
3/27/18 – 54.6% abnormally dry or worse; 9.0% moderate drought;
7/4/17 – 7.7% abnormally dry.

In early June, the Virginia Drought Monitoring Task Force (DMTF), a collaboration of state and federal agencies, issued its most recent report.  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 DMTF’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.  Shown below is a map identifying the Drought Evaluation Regions used by the DMTF.

Drought Evaluation Regions

DROUGHT ELSEWHERE

The July 3, 2018, U.S. Drought Monitor categorized about 42.0% of the United States (including all or parts of 42 states plus Puerto Rico) as being abnormally dry or worse.  The Drought Monitor categorized 13.9% of the country (including parts of 17 states), as being in severe drought or worse (categories D2, D3, and D4).  (The highest percentage in the severe-or-worse categories reported by the Drought Monitor since it began in 2000 was 38.5% of the country for the week of August 7, 2012.)

The nationwide percentages for abnormally dry or worse (categories D0-D4) and severe or worse (categories D2-D4) in the previous three months and one year ago were as follows:
6/5/18 – 39.0% abnormally dry or worse; 14.3% severe drought or worse;
5/1/18 – 37.5% abnormally dry or worse; 13.6% severe drought or worse;
3/27/18 – 44.5% abnormally dry or worse; 13.7% severe drought or worse;
7/4/17 – 23.8% abnormally dry or worse; 3.2% severe drought or worse.

The following states had 50% or more of their land area categorized by the July 3, 2018, Drought Monitor in severe-or-worse drought:
Arizona – 97%;
Colorado – 52%;
New Mexico – 86%;
Utah – 61%.

90-DAY DROUGHT OUTLOOK

For a look ahead, the National Weather Service/Climate Prediction Center’s “U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook” is available at http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/expert_assessment/sdo_summary.php.  Shown below is the outlook map available on June 30, 2018.

Drought outlook June 30