Virginia Water-related Government Meetings for June 21-July 5, 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

6/21/18, 10 a.m.: Outdoors Foundation Board of Trustees.  At 600 East Main Street, 24th Floor, in Richmond.

6/28/18, 9 a.m.: Soil and Water Conservation Board.  At Swift Creek Dining Hall, Pocahontas State Park in Chesterfield (Chesterfield County).

6/30/18, 11 a.m.: Cave Board.  At Natural Bridge State Park, 6477 South Lee Hwy in Natural Bridge (Rockbridge County).

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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.

6/21/18, 6 p.m., and 6/26/18, 6 p.m., on the TMDL study of aquatic life (benthic) impairment in Catawba Creek and of bacterial impairment in the James River and tributaries Barbours Creek, Craig Creek, Catawba Creek, Lapsley Run, Little Patterson Creek, and Sinking Creek, all in the James River basin in Botetourt and Craig counties.  The 6/21/18 meeting is at Craig-Botetourt Electric Cooperative, 26198 Craig Creek Road in New Castle (Craig County); the 6/28/18 meeting is at Eagle Rock Library, 55 Eagles Nest Drive in Eagle Rock (Botetourt County).

*          *          *

MEETINGS ON OTHER SPECIFIC TOPICS
(topics listed alphabetically)

Energy – Fossil Fuels
6/26/18, 6 p.m.: Air Pollution Control Board/Department of Environmental Quality public hearing on a draft modification of the Prevention of Significant Deterioration Permit by Doswell Limited Partnership for the Doswell Energy Center in Ashland (Hanover County).  At the Ashland Branch Library, 201 South Railroad Avenue in Ashland.  The partnership has applied to revise its permit to combine the natural gas limit for several units and will include revisions to include tune up, startup, shutdown and malfunction changes.  The draft permit considers emissions of nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, volatile organic compounds, Acrolein, and formaldehyde.  The public comment period closes 7/26/18.

Fort Monroe
6/21/18, 1 p.m.: Fort Monroe Authority Board of Trustees.  At the Paradise Ocean Club, 490 Fenwick Road in Fort Monroe (adjacent to the City of Hampton).  In 2011, the Virginia General Assembly (Senate Bill 1400) established the Fort Monroe Authority to manage the historic areas of Fort Monroe and Old Point Comfort—at the confluence of Hampton Roads with the Chesapeake Bay—after the federal government closed its military facilities there.  Fort Monroe had been a U.S. military base since 1836.  In 2011, the area was designated as Fort Monroe National Monument (http://www.nps.gov/fomr/index.htm).  More information about Fort Monroe and the Authority is available online at http://www.fmauthority.com/.

Scenic Rivers
6/21/18, 12 p.m.: Historic Falls of the James Scenic River Advisory Board.  At Richmond City Hall.

Stormwater
6/25/18, 9:30 a.m.: Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) technical advisory committee on proposed amendments to the general Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (VPDES) permit for discharges of stormwater from construction activities.  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 25-880.  The notice of intended regulatory action was published in the Virginia Register of Regulations on October 16, 2017.  More information on this regulatory action is available online at http://townhall.virginia.gov/L/viewchapter.cfm?chapterid=2869.

Virginia Precipitation and Stream Flow for the 7-day Period Ending June 19, 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 June 19, 2018 (information available as of June 20).
  2. An excerpt from the Virginia Drought Monitoring Task Force’s June 2018 statewide assessment and a map showing the status of several drought indicators in different Virginia regions, as of June 19.
  3. Flooding overview maps for Virginia and nationwide, as of June 20.

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 June 2018 Goose Creek near Huddleston Bedford County Rt 735 Jun15 2017 HAVE AUDIO

June 2018 Gaging Station of the Month: Goose Creek near Huddleston (Bedford County), June15, 2017.  U.S. Geological Survey information from this gage is online at https://waterdata.usgs.gov/va/nwis/inventory/?site_no=02059500.  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 June 19, 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 June19PrecipPErc Jun19 

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 June 20, 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 Jun20

Stream Flow

Seven-day-average stream flows at Virginia gaging stations as of June 19, 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 Jun19

KEEP on deskto - Stream flow code graph

Flooding Overview

As of about 12:30 p.m. EDT on June 20, 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.

Flooding 01 Jun20Flooding 02 Jun20

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.

Following is an excerpt from the June 2018 report (a map of Virginia’s Drought Evaluation Regions follows the excerpt):

“The Virginia Drought Monitoring Task Force (DMTF) met via teleconference on Thursday, June 7, 2018, to discuss the status of drought monitoring and hydrologic conditions in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Precipitation during May was well above normal across most of Virginia, with many locations receiving record rainfall amounts.  As a result, streamflows are normal to above normal across the Commonwealth, with well above normal flows in northern Virginia.

“Groundwater levels in the Virginia Climate Response Network of observation wells rose as well, with record highs observed in 7 of the 22 network wells.

“The…U.S. Drought Monitor map for Virginia…released June 7, 2018, showed that, for the first week since June 20, 2017, no abnormally dry (D0) conditions currently [existed] in Virginia….

“The DMTF discussed the removal of dry conditions across the state in response to abundant May rainfall.   The  Task Force recommended lifting of the existing Drought Watch Advisories in the Chowan, Middle James, Northern Piedmont,  Northern Virginia, and Roanoke River drought-evaluation regions.

“Written reports were submitted from the Virginia State Climatology Office, the U. S. Geological Survey (USGS), the Virginia Department of Health Office of Drinking Water, and the DEQ. …Verbal reports were provided by the National Weather Service, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF), and the U.S Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Wilmington District office.  …VDGIF reported that their department is dealing with above-normal water levels at several locations, but no severe conditions have been reported.  The USACE described conditions affecting Philpott and J.H. Kerr reservoirs in the Roanoke drought evaluation region.   Reservoir levels at both projects [were] above guide curve levels, with plenty of storage currently available at Kerr for spring spawning releases.

“The DMTF agencies will continue to monitor drought indicators over the course of the summer.  Scheduling of the next Task Force meeting will depend upon a return of widespread abnormally dry conditions.”

The Task Force also produces a map rating drought-status indicators.  Shown below is the map for June 17, 2018.  The status-indicator abbreviations on that map are as follows: GW = groundwater levels, Prcp = precipitation deficits, Res = reservoir storage, and Flow = stream flow conditions.  For each region of Virginia, the indicators are color coded for “normal,” “watch,” “warning,” or “emergency conditions.”  [ADD as called for: Note the emergency-conditions code (in red) for groundwater in one region and stream flow in one region.]  Any given day’s current map and more information on drought status in Virginia are available the Task Force Web site, http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WaterSupplyWaterQuantity/Drought.aspx.
Drought Map Va June 17 2018

 

 

On Virginia Water Radio for the week of June 18, 2018: Fish, Scenery, History, and More on the South Fork Holston River

Virginia Water Radio’s episode for the week of June 18, 2018, is “Introducing the South Fork Holston River.”  The 4 min./5 sec. episode, available online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/2018/06/episode-425-6-18-18-introducing-south.html, is the first in a series of summer 2018 episodes on relatively small and perhaps less well-known Virginia waterways.

425 Image 1 South Fork Holston River along Teas Road near Suguar Grove Smyth County Va AUDIO HERE in Episode 425 Jun11 2018South Fork Holston River in Smyth County, Va., June 11, 2018


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 June 15-28, 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

6/19/18, 9 a.m.: Gas and Oil Board.  At the Russell County Office Building, 139 Highland Drive in Lebanon.

6/19/18, 9:30 a.m.: Marine Resources Commission.  At 2600 Washington Avenue in Newport News.

6/20/18, 9 a.m.: Sewage Handling and Disposal Appeals Review Board.  At the Perimeter Center, 9960 Mayland Drive in Richmond.

6/20/18, 10 a.m.: Board for Professional Soil Scientists, Wetland Professionals, and Geologists.  At the Department of Professional & Occupational Regulation, 9960 Mayland Drive in Richmond.

6/21/18, 10 a.m.: Outdoors Foundation Board of Trustees.  At 600 East Main Street in Richmond.

6/28/18, 9 a.m.: Soil and Water Conservation Board.  At Swift Creek Dining Hall, Pocahontas State Park in Chesterfield (Chesterfield County).

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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.

6/20/18, 5:30 p.m., on the TMDL study of bacterial impairments in the Rappahannock River and several tributaries (Baylors Creek, Elmwood Creek and an unnamed tributary to Elmwood Creek, Jetts Creek, Mill Creek, Peedee Creek and an unnamed tributary to Peedee Creek, Portobago Creek, and Stillwater Creek), located in the Chesapeake Bay basin in Essex, Caroline, King George, Richmond, and Westmoreland counties.  At Westmoreland Fire Department, 52 Rectory Road in Montross.

6/21/18, 6 p.m., on the TMDL study of aquatic life (benthic) impairment in Catawba Creek and of bacterial impairment in the James River and tributaries Barbours Creek, Craig Creek, Catawba Creek, Lapsley Run, Little Patterson Creek, and Sinking Creek, all in the James River basin in Botetourt and Craig counties.  At Craig-Botetourt Electric Cooperative, 26198 Craig Creek Road in New Castle (Craig County).

*          *          *

MEETINGS ON OTHER SPECIFIC TOPICS
(topics listed alphabetically)

Air-Water Connections
6/19/18, 6:30 p.m.: Air Pollution Control Board/Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) public hearing on a draft Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) Permit for the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company in Danville.  At the RCATT Building, Room 115, Danville Community College, 121 Slayton Avenue in Danville.  The public comment period runs 5/18/18 to 7/5/18.  According to the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall notice for this meeting, “[The] current application for amendment does not include any new or modified emissions units, nor does it change any allowed emission limits at the facility.  The 2014 PSD permit, as amended in 2017, was subject to major new source review for Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) for which there is no increment.  The current application does request refinement of two provisions to the current permit language.  First, the current amendment adds a parallel, equivalent, concentration-based statement of performance to the permitted destruction efficiency for the Regenerative Thermal Oxidizer (RTO) to address acceptable operation of that air pollution control device during expected periods of low inlet pollutant loading.  Second, the current amendment replaces the single, historic, composite, plant-wide emission limit on VOC from the application of refresher solvent with two subset emissions limits on the same emissions.  Each subset is a function of one of the two types of tires produced at the facility (that is, aircraft tires or truck tires).  …No adverse impact on air quality near the facility is expected from the implementation of these two refinements.”

Coastal Flooding
6/20/18, 1 p.m.: Joint Subcommittee to Formulate Recommendations to Address Recurrent Flooding.  House Room 1, The Capitol, 1000 Bank Street in Richmond.  The subcommittee was created by the 2014 Virginia General Assembly (HJR 16 and SJR 3) to make recommendations for a comprehensive planning effort to address recurrent flooding in Virginia’s Tidewater and Eastern Shore, particularly as climate change is expected to increase extreme weather events.  Information on the work of this subcommittee is available from the Division of Legislative Services, online at http://dls.virginia.gov/interim_studies_flooding.html.

Energy – Fossil Fuels
6/26/18, 6 p.m.: Air Pollution Control Board/Department of Environmental Quality public hearing on a draft permit modification for the Prevention of Significant Deterioration Permit by Doswell Limited Partnership for the Doswell Energy Center in Ashland (Hanover County).  At the Ashland Branch Library, 201 South Railroad Avenue in Ashland.  The partnership has applied to revise its permit to combine the natural gas limit for several units and will include revisions to include tune up, startup, shutdown and malfunction changes.  The draft permit considers emissions of nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, volatile organic compounds, Acrolein, and formaldehyde.  The public comment period closes 7/26/18.

Land and Watershed Management
6/19/18, 12 noon: Recreational Facilities Authority.  At the Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center at Explore Park, 56 Roanoke River Parkway Road in Roanoke.  Virginia Code information about the Authority is available online at https://law.lis.virginia.gov/authorities/virginia-recreational-facilities-authority-act/.

Legislative Commissions
6/18/18, 10 a.m.: State Water Commission.  At the Capitol Building, House Room 1, 1000 Bank Street in Richmond.  For meeting agenda and minutes, please see http://dls.virginia.gov/commissions/swc.htm?x=mtg.  The State Water Commission was established by the Virginia General Assembly in 1990.  Its purpose, according to Virginia Code section 30-187, is to “study all aspects of water supply and allocation problems in the Commonwealth, whether these problems are of a quantitative or qualitative nature; [and] coordinate the legislative recommendations of all other state entities having responsibilities with respect to water supply and allocation issues….”  More information about the Commission is available online at http://dls.virginia.gov/commissions/swc.htm.

Mining and Mined Land Reclamation
6/19/18, 9 a.m.: Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) informal hearings on Cessation Orders JLB0000187, JLB0000204, and JLB0000206 for Revelation Energy LLC (Permit numbers 1102080, 1102137, and 1102135, respectively).  At the DMME Office, 3405 Mountain Empire Road in Big Stone Gap (Wise County).

6/20/18, 1 p.m.: Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) informal conference regarding the renewal permit application for Harold Keene Coal Co, Inc., application 1010195.  At Richlands Town Hall, 200 Washington Square in Richlands (Tazewell County).  The proposed permit area is located 0.5 miles north of Raven, Va., on the Russell-Tazewell county line, in the Clinch River/Upper Tennessee River watershed.

River Basin Advisory Committees and Commissions
6/20/18, 1 p.m.: Rappahannock River Basin Commission.  At Deltaville Maritime Museum, 287 Jackson Creek Road, Deltaville (Middlesex County).  The Commission was established by the Virginia General Assembly (see Va. Code section 62.1-69.27) to “provide guidance for the stewardship and enhancement of the water quality and natural resources of the Rappahannock River Basin.”  More information on the work of the Commission is available online at http://rappriverbasin.org/.

Scenic Rivers
6/21/18, 12 p.m.: Historic Falls of the James Scenic River Advisory Board.  At City Hall, 900 East Broad Street in Richmond.

Stormwater
6/25/18, 9:30 a.m.: Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) technical advisory committee on proposed amendments to the general Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (VPDES) permit for discharges of stormwater from construction activities.  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 25-880.  The notice of intended regulatory action was published in the Virginia Register of Regulations on October 16, 2017.  More information on this regulatory action is available online at http://townhall.virginia.gov/L/viewchapter.cfm?chapterid=2869.

Virginia Precipitation and Stream Flow for the 7-day Period Ending June 11, 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 June 11, 2018 (information available as of June 12).
  2. Flooding overview maps for Virginia and nationwide, as of June 12.

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 June 2018 Goose Creek near Huddleston Bedford County Rt 735 Jun15 2017 HAVE AUDIO

June 2018 Gaging Station of the Month: Goose Creek near Huddleston (Bedford County), June15, 2017.  U.S. Geological Survey information from this gage is online at https://waterdata.usgs.gov/va/nwis/inventory/?site_no=02059500.  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 June 11, 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 Jun11Precip perc Jun 11 

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 June 12, 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 Jun 12


Stream Flow

Seven-day-average stream flows at Virginia gaging stations as of June 11, 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 June 11

KEEP on deskto - Stream flow code graph

Flooding Overview

As of about 3 p.m. EDT on June 11, 2018, about 25 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 1 VAFlooding 2 US June 12

 

 

On Virginia Water Radio for the week of June 11, 2018: On a Spring of Summer Evening at a Virginia Riverside, What Might be that Baby Cry-like Sound?

Virginia Water Radio’s episode for the week of June 11, 2018, is “Fowler’s Toad.”  The 3 min./24 sec. episode, available online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/2018/06/episode-424-6-11-18-fowlers-toad.html, focuses on an amphibian whose “waah”-like breeding call sounds out along shallow waters during spring and summer in Virginia.


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 May/Start 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 the end of May/start 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 May 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 May 2018 Observed Monthly Normal June 2017-

May 2018 Observed

Annual Normal
Blacksburg 5.97 4.33 41.06 40.89
Bluefield1 5.42 4.31 39.67 39.63
Bristol2 7.85 3.80 44.88 41.01
Charlottesville3 9.63 3.98 38.02 42.71
Danville* 6.60 3.88 41.38 44.41
Lynchburg 8.32 3.73 38.67 41.57
Norfolk 7.68 3.41 47.55 46.53
Richmond 10.35RH 3.78 41.14 43.60
Roanoke 9.50 4.06 39.53 41.25
Wallops Island4 5.89 2.95 49.97 40.84
Washington-Dulles Airport5 8.92 4.55 42.22 41.54

RH = record monthly high for the location.

*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 May 30, 2018.  [Please note that the scale is different for the 30-day map.]

Precipperc30Precipperc60Precipperc90 

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 May 2018 at 155 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 12% of gages;
below normal – about 1%;
above normal – about 29%.
much above normal – about 58%.

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 May 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 June 4, 2018, accessed on June 7, 2018, at https://waterwatch.usgs.gov/index.php?id=pa01d&sid=w__plot&r=va.

Streams plot June

Water status icons groundwater by George WillsInformation 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 June 5, 2018, categorized Virginia as drought-free for the first time since the week of June 20, 2017.

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:
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;
2/27/18 – 59.7% abnormally dry or worse; 12.3% moderate drought;
6/6/17 – drought-free.

In early June 2018, 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.

The DMTF also produces a map rating drought-status indicators, also online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WaterSupplyWaterQuantity/Drought/DroughtMonitoring.aspx.  Shown below is the map for June 6, 2018, followed by a map identifying the Drought Evaluation Regions used by the DMTF.  The status-indicator abbreviations on that map are as follows: GW = groundwater levels, Prcp = precipitation deficits, Res – reservoir storage, and Flow = stream flow conditions.  For each region of Virginia, the indicators are color coded for “normal,” “watch,” “warning,” or “emergency conditions.”
Drought VA June 6Drought Evaluation Regions

 

DROUGHT ELSEWHERE

The June 5, 2018, U.S. Drought Monitor categorized about 39.0% of the United States (including all or parts of 33 states plus Puerto Rico) as being abnormally dry or worse.  The Drought Monitor categorized about 14.3% of the country (including parts of 13 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:
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;
2/27/18 – 50.0% abnormally dry or worse; 12.0% severe drought or worse;
6/6/17 – 19.7% abnormally dry or worse; 1.1% severe drought or worse.

The following states had 50% or more of their land area categorized by the June 5, 2018, Drought Monitor in severe-or-worse drought:
Arizona – 97%;
Colorado – 51%;
New Mexico – 88%;
Utah – 60%.

Following are some comments from the June 5 Drought Monitor on conditions in several regions:

Northeast
“…Precipitation deficits for the past 30-days ranged from about 1-4 inches below normal, with the higher deficits indicated over far southern Maine and adjacent portions of New Hampshire.  Stream flows in this area are within the lowest quartile of the historical distribution for this day of the year, especially in Maine….”

Southeast
“Although southern Virginia did not receive the very heavy rainfall that was reported just to its north, it still received enough to justify wiping out any residual dryness.  In North Carolina, while some areas were too wet for farmers to complete field operations due to rainfall over the last few weeks, most areas were showing normal groundwater conditions, and the remaining D0 area in the state was removed.  Any lingering D0 was also removed in Georgia this week, consistent with adequate soil moisture conditions.  Eleven locations…have measured 13 or more inches of rain for the month of May in northeastern Georgia, with 2 locations in west-central Georgia.  In Alabama, streams were near or above normal in the aftermath of [Subtropical Storm] Alberto….”

South
“…[T]he entire Texas drought depiction experienced another major overhaul this week.  Low stream flows have been an issue in the Texas Hill Country for several months already.  The position of the impacts line was adjusted to approximately bifurcate the state into a western portion (…with longer-term deficits appearing), and an eastern portion (still short-term deficits)….”

Midwest
“…[T]he importance of rapid loss of moisture through evaporation has become a very important consideration in early detection of flash drought; hence the increasing reliance upon the Evaporative Demand Drought Index (EDDI).  High values of the 2-week EDDI (ED1 to ED3) across the Corn Belt are indicative of significant moisture loss, which must be balanced against any moisture gains that occur through precipitation. It is the interplay between evaporation, high heat, rainfall, soil moisture, and wind speeds that has a significant bearing on accurate drought prediction.”

High Plains
“…Both improvements and degradations were also made to the South Dakota depiction, which received much less rain this week than its northern counterpart.  For example, Aberdeen reported only 0.52-inch of rain in May (2.59 inches below normal), making it the seventh driest on record.  …A spectacular dust storm, attended by 50-80 mph winds, blew through this region (Hand and Faulk Counties) on June 1st….”

West
In western Oregon and western Washington, an extended dry pattern set in ahead of schedule, with rapidly declining stream flows (most are now within the lowest quartile of the historical distribution for the day of the year). …[I] southwestern New Mexico, water restrictions were initiated as storage in the Elephant Butte and Caballo reservoirs (along the Rio Grande in Sierra County) dropped below 400,000 acre-feet.”

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 1, 2018.
Drought outlook May 17