Virginia Precipitation and Stream Flow for the 7-day Period Ending July 28, 2015

Below are images showing precipitation in Virginia and other areas of the southeastern United States, and stream flow in Virginia, over the seven-day period ending July 28, 2015.  The Virginia Water Resources Research Center thanks the agencies mentioned below for providing precipitation and stream-flow information and images.  For monthly reviews of precipitation, stream flow, and drought, please see the News Grouper posts available at this link: 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 Science Center’s Web site, http://va.water.usgs.gov/.

Precipitation

The following maps show southeastern U.S. precipitation amounts (top map) and the percent of normal precipitation for the given location at this time of year (bottom map) over the seven-day period ending July 28, 2015.  The maps were accessed 7/29/15 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Southeast Regional Climate Center, located at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill; online at http://www.sercc.com/climateinfo/precip_maps. As of that date, these data were provisional (needing to be verified for accuracy and subject to possible revision).
PrecipJul28PrecippercJul28

Another source of precipitation data is the National Weather Service’s Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service, http://water.weather.gov/precip/, provides maps showing precipitation nationwide or by state for specific days, months, or years. The site also has the capability to show county boundaries. Shown below are maps of precipitation and percent of normal precipitation for the 7-day precipitation ending at 8 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time on July 29, 2015. (Please note that UTC, the time shown on the map below, is five hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time and four hours ahead of Eastern Daylight Time.)
PrecipUSJul29PrecippercUSJul29

Stream Flow

Average Virginia stream flow over the seven-day period ending July 28, 2015, is indicated in the map below, from the U.S. Geological Survey WaterWatch for Virginia (online at http://waterwatch.usgs.gov/classic.php?m=pa07d&r=va&w=mv01d%2Cmap, accessed 7/29/15).  For about 140 stream-gaging stations in Virginia and just beyond the state border, 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 “bluer” the color of the dots, the higher the percentile and flow relative to normal for the site and time of year; the “wetter” the dots, the lower the percentile and flow relative to normal.  The color codes/percentile classes used by USGS are as shown in the chart following the map.

Streams Jul28

KEEP on deskto - Stream flow code graph

Virginia Trout Stocking Plan for 2016-2025 Under Review in Summer/Fall 2015

In July 2015, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries released for public comment the draft “Virginia Stocked Trout Management Plan” for 2016-2025.  The draft plan was produced by VDGIF, the Virginia Tech Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation, and citizens on stakeholder advisory committee.  According to the VDGIF Web site on the plan, “The Plan provides broad guidance for the Board of Game and Inland Fisheries and VDGIF staff for managing stocked trout waters.  The Plan informs, but not replaces, the existing process for setting seasons and regulations. Development of the Plan is part of a larger process of evaluating the VDGIF stocked trout program, which will address the following questions: What can be done to improve angler satisfaction with trout fishing and management in Virginia? Why are trout license sales declining? How many stocked trout do anglers catch and harvest?”

More information and a place to submit comments are available online at http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/fishing/trout/management-plan/; or contact Vic DiCenzo, Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation (MC 0321), Virginia Tech, 310 West Campus Drive, Blacksburg, VA 24061.

VDGIF plans to hold public-comment meetings in September and October 2015.

Chesapeake Executive Council Annual Meeting on July 23, 2015 – Summary of Council Actions, Plus Background Information

On July 23, 2015, the Chesapeake Executive Council held its annual meeting at the National Arboretum Visitor Center in Washington, D.C.  The Council includes the governors of Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia; the administrator of the U.S. EPA; the mayor of the District of Columbia; and the chair of the Chesapeake Bay Commission, a group of state legislators from Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.  Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is currently the chair of the Council.

At the July 2015 meeting, the Executive Council announced strategies for accomplishing 10 goals and 29 specific outcomes set by the Executive Council in June 2014, when Council members signed the latest of four Chesapeake Bay Agreements (1983, 1987, 2000, and 2014).  Following is an excerpt of the Chesapeake Bay Program’s short summary of the meeting, accessed at http://www.chesapeakebay.net/about/ecmeeting/2015_executive_council:

“Council members announced the release of twenty-five management strategies outlining the Chesapeake Bay Program’s plans for achieving the goals and outcomes of the landmark Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement, advancing the restoration, conservation and protection of the Bay, its tributaries and the surrounding lands.  In addition to announcing the strategies, the Executive Council also passed two resolutions—first, endorsing the recommendations of the State Riparian Forest Buffer Task Force and committing to collaborative efforts that will increase the miles of forests on agricultural lands, and second, that the Bay Program hold a symposium on financing environmental restoration efforts.  Members also agreed to two joint letters, one supporting programs to keep livestock out of streams and another supporting funding in the President’s 2016 budget for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which includes more than $33 million for the Rivers of the Chesapeake collaborative proposal.”

More information on the July 2015 meeting, on previous meetings (since 1998), and on the Council generally is available are available at http://www.chesapeakebay.net//groups/group/chesapeake_executive_council.

For more on the agreement signed in 2014, please see the September 5, 2014, Grouper post: The 10 Goals of the Chesapeake Bay Agreement of June 2014; and the Chesapeake Bay Program Web page at http://www.chesapeakebay.net/chesapeakebaywatershedagreement/page.

Media accounts about the 2015 meeting:
Chesapeake Bay report card: Progress on cleanup but challenges ahead, Washington Post, 7/23/15.
Bay council releases management strategies, Easton Star Democrat, 7/27/15.
Bay leaders to outline next steps for Chesapeake restoration, Bay Journal, 7/20/15.

On Virginia Water Radio for 7-27-15: Wasps

Virginia Water Radio’s latest episode, Episode 276, 7-27-15, is “Wasps.”  The 4 min./6 sec. episode focuses on the large group of insects that includes paper wasps, yellow jackets, hornets, mud daubers, velvet ants, and many more.  Have a listen!

Jun19 2007 Belmead - Powhatan County Velvet Ant - Cow Killer Wasp

A velvet ant in Powhatan County, Va., June 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

Port of Virginia Preliminary Report for Fiscal Year 2015 Shows 9 Percent Cargo Increase Over 2014 and Forecasts First Yearly Profit Since 2008

On July 22, 2015, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe announced the Port of Virginia’s preliminary Fiscal Year 2015 performance, including a forecasted profit of $16.1 million, the first yearly profit since 2008.  Following are the hyperlinked headline and an excerpt from the governor’s office’s news release on the Port’s preliminary report.  More information on the Port of Virginia and the Virginia Port Authority is available online at http://www.portofvirginia.com/.

Governor McAuliffe Announces The Port of Virginia’s Return to Profitability; Port experiences $31.5 million operating revenue swing, sets new record for volume, Virginia Governor’s Office News Release, 7/22/15.

Excerpt: Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced that The Port of Virginia’s preliminary reports for fiscal year 2015 indicate that it will post its first yearly operating profit since 2008. The Port is forecast to turn a $16.1 million profit, which is a $31.5 million improvement in operating income compared with the prior fiscal year.  Speaking at an event at the Port of Virginia in Norfolk, the Governor also announced that the Port continued its record-setting cargo-handling pace in fiscal year 2015, handling more than 2.5 million TEUs [20-foot equivalent units, based on the 20-foot length of an intermodal cargo container] in the twelve months that closed June 30, and eclipsing the record set last fiscal year by 8.9 percent.

…The port closed fiscal 2015 with strong June TEU volumes, having handled 213,517 TEUs, which is a 14.5 percent improvement when compared with the same month last year. …

Fiscal 2015 also included the following accomplishments:
*re-opening of Portsmouth Marine Terminal;
*addition of 1,000 chassis to HRCP II;
*purchase of nearly 100 vehicles used in the movement of cargo;
implementation of new terminal operations software;
*signing of a cost-sharing agreement with the Army Corps of Engineers to evaluate the benefits of two critical dredging projects: the deepening of the Norfolk Harbor and Southern Branch of the Elizabeth River;
*receipt of a $15 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant to create a new intermodal gate complex at Norfolk International Terminals;
*completion of a bond sale to reduce debt costs, earning Aa3 and A+ bond ratings from Moody’s and S&P, respectively;
*passage of a $489.7 million budget that includes $135 million allocated for capital expenditures to alleviate congestion and position the port for future growth. …

[Following are the volume numbers in several categories for Fiscal Year 2015 and the percentage increases from Fiscal Year 2014:]
*total TEUs = 2,510,099 (+8.9%);
*total Containers = 1,442,645 (+9.3%);
*total Rail Containers = 465,898 (+4.2%);
*total Barge Containers = 14,114 (+47.1%);
*total Truck Containers = 921,241 (+12%).

The Virginia Port Authority (VPA) is a political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Virginia.  VPA owns and through its private operating subsidiary, Virginia International Terminals, LLC (VIT), operates four general cargo facilities Norfolk International Terminals, Portsmouth Marine Terminal, Newport News Marine Terminal and the Virginia Inland Port in Warren County.  VPA leases Virginia International Gateway and the Port of Richmond.

Increasing Public Access to Virginia State Waters is the Focus of July 9, 2015, Memorandum of Understanding among Three State Agencies

On July 9, 2015, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) among three state agencies on increasing public access to state waters.  Following are the hyperlinked headline and an excerpt from the governor’s office’s news release on MOU.  To learn more about outdoor recreational planning in Virginia, visit the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation’s “Virginia Outdoors Plan” Web site at http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/recreational_planning/vop.shtml.

Governor McAuliffe Signs Agreement on Expanding Public Access to State Waters; the MOU enhances the partnership among three state agencies to increase access to public waters, Virginia Governor’s Office News Release, 7/9/15.

Excerpt:
“The MOU…directs three state agencies to work together to identify new potential public-access projects, particularly at bridge crossings and roads. The three agencies mentioned in the MOU are the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation [DCR], the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries [DGIF], and the Virginia Department of Transportation [VDOT]. The MOU formalizes the process by which the agencies will work together on new access projects.

“Specifically, the MOU states [the following]:
DCR, DGIF and VDOT representatives will meet at least annually to review bridge, road or ferry project sites for the potential to offer public access to state waters.
DCR or DGIF will seek comments from adjacent property owners, local governments and other stakeholders for proposed access projects.
VDOT will stabilize or leave in place any access roads or staging areas within its right of way that could be useful for the development of access projects. …

“For more than 15 years, the Virginia Outdoors Demand Survey has ranked public access to state waters for recreation as one of the top 10 outdoor recreation needs in the state. The survey is administered widely to a cross-section of Virginia residents.”

Virginia Competing for Federal National Disaster Resilience Funds for Planning for Sea-level Rise and Recurrent Flooding in Hampton Roads; Commonwealth’s Proposal Due by October 27, 2015

On July 8, 2015, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe’s office announced that Virginia has been selected to move forward into Phase 2 of the National Disaster Resilience Competition (NDRC), sponsored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD).  Virginia’s proposal for funding is an initiative to help the Hampton Roads area plan for sea level rise and recurrent flooding.  Following are the hyperlinked headline and an excerpt from the governor’s office’s news release on the competition.  For more on sea-level rise in the Hampton Roads area, visit Old Dominion University’s Center for Sea Level Rise Web site, at http://www.centerforsealevelrise.org/.

Governor McAuliffe Announces Virginia Moving Forward in Natural Disaster Resilience Competition; Focus remains on Hampton Roads region to address climate and sea level change, Virginia Governor’s Office News Release, 7/8/15. Excerpt: “Virginia will be competing with 40 other projects nationwide for funding from HUD’s $1 billion competition.  The NDRC makes $1 billion available to communities that have been affected by natural disasters in recent years. Grants will range from $1 million to $500 million, and the competition will fund the implementation of innovative resilience projects to better prepare communities for future storms and other extreme events, including climate change.  Participation in Virginia’s effort is broadly based, bringing together multiple state and federal agencies, local governments, institutions of higher education, community groups and private sector partners.  This grant opportunity is focused on communities in the Hampton Roads area, but these projects will benefit the Commonwealth as a whole, particularly in regions that experience flooding or other natural hazards.  The result of the initial proposal was the creation of an innovative living-with-water approach called ‘thRIVe: Resilience in Virginia.’  The goal of this plan is to unite the region, create coastal resilience, build water management solutions, improve economic vitality and strengthen vulnerable neighborhoods.  This comprehensive approach is designed to capitalize on the region’s strengths, convert risks and vulnerabilities into economic opportunities, and demonstrate best practices for low-lying areas nationwide. … The deadline for the phase two applications is October 27, 2015.”