Virginia Water-related Government Events for Dec. 13-Dec. 28, 2018; Including 2019 Virginia General Assembly Information

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

12/13/18, 10 a.m.: State Water Control Board.  At the Pocahontas Building, First Floor House Committee Room, 900 East Main Street in Richmond.

12/17/18, 10:30 a.m.: Waste Management Board.  At the Pocahontas Building, First Floor House Committee Room, 900 East Main Street in Richmond.

12/19/18, 10 a.m. (new date of postponed 12/10/18 meeting): Air Pollution Control Board.  At the Pocahontas Building, First Floor House Committee Room, 900 East Main Street 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. 

12/17/18, 1 p.m.: House and Senate Commerce and Labor Committees’ Coal Ash Subcommittee.  In House Room 3 of the Capitol, 1000 Bank Street in Richmond.

1/9/19: Virginia General Assembly, Richmond.  Current status is available online at this link.  The 2019 General Assembly convenes on January 9 and is scheduled for 30 days; this is a so-called “short session,” which is held in all odd-numbered years.  The reconvened (“veto”) session will be held in April.  In some years, sessions are extended beyond the scheduled length, particularly for budget discussions (any session may be extended for up to 30 days).  The General Assembly’s Web site, http://virginiageneralassembly.gov/index.php, offers several useful features, including member lists, session calendars, live video of floor sessions, and information on legislative processes.  The Legislative Information System (LIS) Web site, http://lis.virginia.gov/lis.htm, provides lists and summaries of all bills, searchable by topic, member, committee, etc.  Live video streams of floor sessions are available at http://virginia-house.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=3 for the House and http://virginia-senate.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=3 for the Senate.  Committees are key parts of the General Assembly process. Legislation about water or about activities that can affect water may be assigned to any of several standing committees, most of which meet weekly during the General Assembly session.  As of 2018, live streaming of committee meetings is available.  Information on live streaming of House committee meetings is online at https://publications.virginiageneralassembly.gov/display_publication/209; for Senate committee meetings, online at http://virginia-senate.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=3.

Two committees that receive many (but not all) of the water-related bills are the House Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources Committee, which meets weekly on Wednesdays, 8:30 a.m., in House Room 3 of the Capitol, 1000 Bank Street; and the Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources Committee, which meets weekly on Thursdays, one-half hour after adjournment of the day’s floor session, in Senate Room A of the Pocahontas Building, 900 East Main Street in Richmond.  Information about all standing committees as of the 2019 session—including membership, meeting times, and legislation being considered—is available online at http://lis.virginia.gov/191/com/COM.HTM.

To express an opinion on legislation, citizens are requested to contact their respective delegate of senator.  If you do not know your representatives or their contact information, you can use the online “Who’s My Legislator” service, available at http://whosmy.virginiageneralassembly.gov/.

You can find members’ contact information at these links:
House of Delegates, at http://virginiageneralassembly.gov/house/members/members.php;
State Senate, at https://apps.senate.virginia.gov/Senator/.

The Lobbyist-In-A-Box subscriber service also offers free tracking for up to five bills, and it offers tracking of more than five bills for a fee; visit http://lis.virginia.gov/h015.htm.  For assistance, phone Legislative Automated Systems at (804) 786-9631.

The organization Open Virginia’s Richmond Sunlight Web site, at https://www.richmondsunlight.com/, also offers tools for following the General Assembly and for learning about Virginia law. 

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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.   TMDL reports are available at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WaterQualityInformationTMDLs/TMDL/TMDLDevelopment/ApprovedTMDLReports.aspx. 

12/13/18, 2:30 p.m.: Stakeholder meeting for the Northern Neck Planning District Commission (PDC) on Phase III of the Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) for the Chesapeake Bay TMDL (which was published in December 2010).  At the PDC office, 483 Main Street in Warsaw (Richmond County).  The Northern Neck PDC covers the counties of Lancaster, Northumberland, Richmond, and Westmoreland.

12/19/18, 3 p.m., on the TMDL study of aquatic life (benthic) impairment in North Fork Catoctin Creek, located in the Potomac River basin in Loudoun County.  At the Purcellville Library, 220 East Main Street in Purcellville.

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MEETINGS ON OTHER SPECIFIC TOPICS
(topics listed alphabetically) 

Agriculture/Forestry
12/14/18, 9:30 a.m.: Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Agricultural Best Management Practices Cost-share Program Technical Advisory Committee.  At the Virginia Department of Forestry, 900 Natural Resources Drive in Charlottesville.  On 12/17/18, 9:30 a.m., the Stream Protection Subcommittee meets at the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation Regional Office, 12 Sunset Boulevard in Staunton.  On 12/17/18, 10 a.m., the Animal Waste Subcommittee meets at the Shenandoah Valley Soil and Water Conservation District, 1934 Deyerle Avenue, #B, in Harrisonburg.  On 12/17/18, 12:30 p.m., the Programmatic Subcommittee meets at the Virginia Farm Bureau, 13438 James Madison Highway in Orange (Orange County).  On 12/20/18, 9 a.m., the Nutrient Management Subcommittee meets at the Louisa County Farm Bureau Office, 407A East Main Street in Louisa.

Environmental Justice
12/18/18, 10 a.m.: Advisory Council on Environmental Justice.  At the Patrick Henry Building, 1111 East Broad Street in Richmond.  This Advisory Council was established by then-Gov. Terry McAuliffe in October 2017.  More information on the Council is available online at https://www.naturalresources.virginia.gov/initiatives/environmental-justice/.

Mining and Mined Land Reclamation
12/18/18, 10:30 a.m.:  Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) informal conference on the new permit application for the Black Diamond Company, application 1010444.  At the Hurley Community Center, 1006 Da Justus Road in Hurley (Buchanan County).  The proposed permit area is located 5 miles Northeast of Hurley off Route 643 in Buchanan County, in the Tug Fork/Big Sandy River watershed.

On Virginia Water Radio for the Week of 12-10-18: A Whimsical Musical Take on Neurons and Their Connection to Water

Virginia Water Radio episode’s for the week of December 10, 2018, is “Neurons, Ions, an Water, Featuring ‘Pack of Neurons’ by Bob Gramann.”  The 4 min./8 sec. episode is  available online at this link.  This episode features  a song by Fredericksburg, Va., musician Bob Gramann, inspired by a phrase coined by Francis Crick, of DNA structure discovery fame.

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 Dec. 7-Dec. 21, 2018; Plus Information on the 2019 Virginia General Assembly

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

12/10/18, 10 a.m.: Air Pollution Control Board.  At the Pocahontas Building, 1st Floor House Committee Room, 900 East Main Street in Richmond.

12/11/18, 9:30 a.m.: Marine Resources Commission.  At 2600 Washington Avenue in Newport News.

12/12/18, 10 a.m.: Aquaculture Advisory Board.  At the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation, 12580 West Creek Parkway in Richmond.

12/12/18, 10 a.m.: Board of Forestry Procedures Subcommittee.  At the Virginia Department of Forestry, 900 Natural Resources Drive in Charlottesville.

12/13/18, 10 a.m.: State Water Control Board.  At the Pocahontas Building, First Floor House Committee Room, 900 East Main Street in Richmond.

12/17/18, 10:30 a.m.: Waste Management Board.  At the Pocahontas Building, First Floor House Committee Room, 900 East Main Street 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. 

12/17/18, 1 p.m.: House and Senate Commerce and Labor Committees’ Coal Ash Subcommittee.  In House Room 3 of the Capitol, 1000 Bank Street in Richmond.

1/9/19: Virginia General Assembly, Richmond.  Current status is available online at this link.  The 2019 General Assembly convenes on January 9 and is scheduled for 30 days; this is a so-called “short session,” which is held in all odd-numbered years.  The reconvened (“veto”) session will be held in April.  In some years, sessions are extended beyond the scheduled length, particularly for budget discussions (any session may be extended for up to 30 days).  The General Assembly’s Web site, http://virginiageneralassembly.gov/index.php, offers several useful features, including member lists, session calendars, live video of floor sessions, and information on legislative processes.  The Legislative Information System (LIS) Web site, http://lis.virginia.gov/lis.htm, provides lists and summaries of all bills, searchable by topic, member, committee, etc.  Live video streams of floor sessions are available at http://virginia-house.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=3 for the House and http://virginia-senate.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=3 for the Senate.  Committees are key parts of the General Assembly process. Legislation about water or about activities that can affect water may be assigned to any of several standing committees, most of which meet weekly during the General Assembly session.  As of 2018, live streaming of committee meetings is available.  Information on live streaming of House committee meetings is online at https://publications.virginiageneralassembly.gov/display_publication/209; for Senate committee meetings, online at http://virginia-senate.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=3.

Two committees that receive many (but not all) of the water-related bills are the House Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources Committee, which meets weekly on Wednesdays, 8:30 a.m., in House Room 3 of the Capitol, 1000 Bank Street; and the Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources Committee, which meets weekly on Thursdays, one-half hour after adjournment of the day’s floor session, in Senate Room A of the Pocahontas Building, 900 East Main Street in Richmond.  Information about all standing committees as of the 2019 session—including membership, meeting times, and legislation being considered—is available online at http://lis.virginia.gov/191/com/COM.HTM.

To express an opinion on legislation, citizens are requested to contact their respective delegate of senator.  If you do not know your representatives or their contact information, you can use the online “Who’s My Legislator” service, available at http://whosmy.virginiageneralassembly.gov/.  You can find members’ contact information at these links: House of Delegates, at http://virginiageneralassembly.gov/house/members/members.php; State Senate, at https://apps.senate.virginia.gov/Senator/.

The Lobbyist-In-A-Box subscriber service also offers free tracking for up to five bills, and it offers tracking of more than five bills for a fee; visit http://lis.virginia.gov/h015.htm.  For assistance, phone Legislative Automated Systems at (804) 786-9631.
The organization Open Virginia’s Richmond Sunlight Web site, at https://www.richmondsunlight.com/, also offers tools for following the General Assembly and for learning about Virginia law. 

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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.   TMDL reports are available at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WaterQualityInformationTMDLs/TMDL/TMDLDevelopment/ApprovedTMDLReports.aspx. 

12/11/18, 10 a.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 Caroline County Public Library, Ladysmith Branch,
7199 Clara Smith Drive in Ruther Glen.

12/11/8, 1 p.m.: Joint meeting of the Commonwealth Regional Council and regional soil and water conservation districts on Phase III of the Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) for the Chesapeake Bay TMDL (which was published in December 2010).  At the Prince Edward County Natural Resources and Agricultural Building, 100 Dominion Drive in Farmville.  The Commonwealth Regional Council is Virginia’s planning district #14, covering the counties of Amelia, Buckingham, Charlotte, Cumberland, Lunenburg, and Prince Edward.

12/11/18, 2 p.m., and 12/11/18, 3:30 p.m.: urban/residential working group (2 p.m.) and agricultural working group (3:30 p.m.) meetings on the TMDL implementation plan for bacterial and aquatic life (benthic) impairments in Woods Creek, located in the Maury River/James River basin in Rockbridge County and the City of Lexington.  At the Natural Bridge Soil and Water Conservation District Office, 40 Magnolia Square Way, Suite 5, in Lexington.

12/12/18, 1:30 p.m., on the TMDL study of bacterial impairment in the Bullpasture River and tributaries, located in the James River basin in Highland County.  At Stonewall Ruritan Hall, 67 Bullpasture River Road in McDowell.

12/13/18, 2:30 p.m.: Stakeholder meeting for the Northern Neck Planning District Commission (PDC) on Phase III of the Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) for the Chesapeake Bay TMDL (which was published in December 2010).  At the PDC office, 483 Main Street in Warsaw (Richmond County).  The Northern Neck PDC covers the counties of Lancaster, Northumberland, Richmond, and Westmoreland.

12/19/18, 3 p.m., on the TMDL study of aquatic life (benthic) impairment in North Fork Catoctin Creek, located in the Potomac River basin in Loudoun County.  At the Purcellville Library, 220 East Main Street in Purcellville.

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MEETINGS ON OTHER SPECIFIC TOPICS
(topics listed alphabetically)

Agriculture/Forestry
12/12/18, 9 a.m.: Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Pollinator Protection Advisory Committee.  In House Room 1 of the Capitol Building, 1000 Bank Street in Richmond.

12/14/18, 9:30 a.m.: Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Agricultural Best Management Practices Cost-share Program Technical Advisory Committee.  At the Virginia Department of Forestry, 900 Natural Resources Drive in Charlottesville.  On 12/17/18, 10 a.m., the Animal Waste Subcommittee meets at the Shenandoah Valley Soil and Water Conservation District, 1934 Deyerle Avenue, #B, in Harrisonburg.  On 12/17/18 at 12:30 p.m., the Programmatic Subcommittee meets at the Virginia Farm Bureau, 13438 James Madison Highway in Orange (Orange County).  On 12/20/18, 9 a.m., the Nutrient Management Subcommittee meets at the Louisa County Farm Bureau Office, 407A East Main Street in Louisa.

Invasive Species
12/11/18, 2 p.m.: Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Invasive Species Working Group.  At the Patrick Henry Building, West Reading Room, 1111 East Broad Street in Richmond.

Mining and Mined Land Reclamation
12/18/18, 10:30 a.m.:  Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) informal conference on the new permit application for the Black Diamond Company, application 1010444.  At the Hurley Community Center, 1006 Da Justus Road in Hurley (Buchanan County).  The proposed permit area is located 5 miles Northeast of Hurley off Route 643 in Buchanan County, in the Tug Fork/Big Sandy River watershed.

Virginia Water Status Report as of the End of November 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 November 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 November 2018 at 12 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 November 2018 Observed Monthly Normal December 2017-November 2018 Observed Annual Normal
Blacksburg 4.27 2.87 48.21 40.89
Bluefield1 4.70 2.69 47.42 39.63
Bristol2 5.04 3.10 49.75 41.01
Charlottesville3 7.34 3.83 56.68 42.71
Danville* 8.29 3.36 62.39 44.41
Lynchburg 7.09 3.41 59.25 41.57
Norfolk 4.13 3.15 55.19 46.53
Reagan National Airport4 7.57 RH 3.17 60.96 39.74
Richmond 5.65 3.24 61.24 43.60
Roanoke 4.78 3.40 56.57 41.25
Wallops Island5 5.54 2.87 45.27 40.84
Washington-Dulles Airport6 7.69 3.41 61.76 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 – Reagan National Airport is in Arlington County.
5 – Wallops Island is in Accomack County.
6 – Washington-Dulles Airport is in Loudoun County.

Precipitation sources:  Climate pages of the following National Weather Service Forecast Offices:
Blacksburg, Va. (https://w2.weather.gov/climate/index.php?wfo=rnk);
Morristown, Tenn. (https://w2.weather.gov/climate/index.php?wfo=mrx);
Baltimore-Washington (https://w2.weather.gov/climate/index.php?wfo=lwx); and
Wakefield, Va. (https://w2.weather.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 December 4, 2018.  Please note that the scale is different for the 30-day map.

Precipperc 30 Dec4Precipperc 60 Dec4Precipperc 90 Dec 4 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 November 2018 at 158 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 – one gage;
above normal – about 4% of gages;
much above normal (or higher) – about 96% of gages.

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 Nov 

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 December 2, 2018, accessed on December 5, 2018, at https://waterwatch.usgs.gov/index.php?id=pa01d&sid=w__plot&r=va.

Streams plot Dec2

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 November 27, 2018, categorized Virginia as drought-free.  The Commonwealth has been essentially drought-free since the June 5, 2018, Drought Monitor report, except for a 0.57% abnormally dry rating in the July 17 report and a 0.01% abnormally dry rating in the June 26 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:
10/30/18 – drought-free;
9/25/18 – drought-free;
8/28/18 – drought-free;
11/28/17 – 44.1% abnormally dry or worse; 3.9% moderate drought.

In early June 2018, the Virginia Drought Monitoring Task Force (DMTF), a collaboration of state and federal agencies, issued its most recent report.  At that time, the DMTF stated that is would monitor conditions and meet again when conditions warrant another report.  A link to the June 2018 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 November 27, 2018, U.S. Drought Monitor categorized about 29.4% of the United States (including all or parts of 26 states plus Puerto Rico) as being abnormally dry or worse.  The Drought Monitor categorized about 9.9% of the country (including parts of 11 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:
10/30/18 – 31.5% abnormally dry or worse; 10.8% severe drought or worse;
9/25/18 – 41.4% abnormally dry or worse; 14.9% severe drought or worse;
8/28/18 – 47.5% abnormally dry or worse; 16.2% severe drought or worse;
11/28/17 – 35.7% abnormally dry or worse; 4.1% severe drought or worse.

The following states had 50% or more of their land area categorized by the November 27 Drought Monitor in severe-or-worse drought:
Colorado – 55%;
Oregon – 86%;
Utah – 76%.

Following are some comments from the November 27, 2018, Drought Monitor on conditions in several regions.

Northeast
“Enough precipitation fell [in the past week] to reduce long-term deficits along the New York-Vermont state line, where D0 was pulled back.  But no change was made to the other D0 remaining in northern New York and northern New England due to lingering long-term (3 months or longer) deficits.”

Southeast
“Precipitation deficits existed along the Georgia and South Carolina coasts from 1 week to 12 months, with the exact locations varying depending on time scale.  …[D]ryness in southern Florida was reflected by several indicators, including streamflow, percent of normal precipitation, the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI), the Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI), soil moisture models and USDA soil moisture reports, groundwater estimates, and the VegDRI vegetation-based drought index. Expansion of D1 in southern Florida can be expected to occur in the weeks ahead if the dryness worsens.”

South
“…[M]ost of Texas and Oklahoma received no precipitation this week, and have been drier than normal for most of the last 4-7 weeks.  Mounting dryness over the last 3-6 months prompted expansion of D0-D1 in northeast Oklahoma into northwest Arkansas, with some D0 expanding into adjacent southwest Missouri and bleeding slightly into adjacent southeast Kansas.”

High Plains
“The precipitation [in the past week] was not enough to affect the D0-D1 lingering in northeast Kansas.   Even though the week was drier than normal in north central Montana, the D0 there was trimmed to reflect a reassessment of the impact of precipitation in recent weeks.  The D0-D1 in the Dakotas reflected lingering long-term dryness.”

West
“[During the past week, the] Pacific weather systems brought beneficial rain and snow to coastal Washington and Oregon, and parts of central to northern California and the Sierra Nevada range.  Widespread amounts of 2-4 inches occurred, with locally up to 5 inches in parts of northern coastal California and the Sierra, and 5-10 inches in the Olympic Peninsula of western Washington.  Some parts of the Sierra Nevada measured more than a foot of new snow. The rain helped firefighters contain the Camp wildfire and snow improved mountain snowpack.  But it wasn’t enough to overcome precipitation deficits which have built up over many months.”

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 November 1, 2018.
Drought Outlook Dec 1

On Virginia Water Radio for the Week of 12-3-18: What’s the Water Story of Tree Buds?

For the answer to this post’s title question, have a listen to Virginia Water Radio episode’s for the week of December 3, 2018, “Tree Buds and Water.”  The 4 min./47 sec. episode is  available online at this link.  This episode features part of “Hiking in the Highland Firs” by Timothy Seaman of Williamsburg, Va.

American BeechAmerican Beech buds.  Photo courtesy of the Virginia Tech Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation, “Dendrology Fact Sheets,” online at http://dendro.cnre.vt.edu/dendrology/factsheets.cfm.

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!

On Virginia Water Radio for the Week of 11-26-18: Winter Weather Preparedness

Virginia Water Radio’s episode for the week of November 26, 2018, is “Winter Preparedness, from Boots to Alarm Batteries.”  The 5 min./4 sec. episode, available online at this link, is the show’s annual episode on getting ready for approaching winter weather and hazards.  This year’s episode features part of “New Boots” by John McCutcheon.

448 Image 2 ICE SNOW Duck Pond Jan19 2018 USED RADIO 448Ice and snow on the Virginia Tech Duck Pond in Blacksburg, January 19, 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!

On Virginia Water Radio for 11-19-18: Virginia’s Covered Bridges

Virginia Water Radio’s episode for the week of November 19, 2018, is “Discovering Virginia’s Covered Bridges for Thanksgiving Week 2018.”  The 3 min./50 sec. episode, available online at this link, examines some of the past and present of the Commonwealth’s covered bridges.

447 Image 3 Humpback Covered Bridge Alleghany County Oct28 2018 ONE USED RADIO 447

Humpback Bridge (built in 1857) over Dunlap Creek, Alleghany County, Va., October 28, 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!