Virginia Water-related Government Meetings for September 19-October 4, 2019

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

9/19/19, 1 p.m.: Board of Conservation and Recreation/Scenic Resources Subcommittee.  At the Department of Conservation and Recreation, 600 East Main Street in Richmond.

9/20/19, 10 a.m.: Air Pollution Control Board.  At the Bank of America Building, 3rd Floor Conference Room, 1111 East Main Street in Richmond.

9/24/19, 9:30 a.m.: Marine Resources Commission.  At 380 Fenwick Road in Ft. Monroe (adjacent to the City of Hampton).

9/25/19, 9 a.m.: Sewage Handling and Disposal Appeal Review Board.  At the Perimeter Center, Training Room 1A, 9960 Mayland Drive in Richmond.

9/25/19, 10 a.m.: Soil and Water Conservation Board.  At Old Dominion Electric Cooperative, 4201 Dominion Boulevard in Glen Allen (Henrico County).  The Board’s Audit Subcommittee meets that day at 9 a.m. at the same location.

9/26/19, 10 a.m.: Virginia Outdoors Foundation Board of Trustees.  At Germanna College, Workforce Center Room 105A, 10000 Germanna Point Drive in Fredericksburg.

10/3/19 (start time not identified in Commonwealth Calendar notice): Board of Forestry.  At Holiday Lake 4-H Educational Center, 1267 4-H Camp Road in Appomattox (Appomattox 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?191+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.

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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. 

None during this period.

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MEETINGS ON OTHER SPECIFIC TOPICS
(topics listed alphabetically) 

Agriculture and Forestry

9/24/19, 9:30 a.m.: Department of Conservation and Recreation’s (DCR) Agricultural Best Management Practices Cost-share Program Technical Advisory Committee/Stream Protection Subcommittee.  At the DCR Regional Office at 12 Sunset Boulevard in Staunton.  On 9/30/19, 10 a.m., the Animal Waste Subcommittee meets at the Virginia Department of Forestry Fire Protection Conference Room, 900 Natural Resources Drive in Charlottesville.  On 10/1/19, 1:30 p.m., the Programmatic Subcommittee meets at the Orange County Farm Bureau Office, 13438 James Madison Highway in Orange.  On 10/3/19, 10 a.m., the Cover Crop Subcommittee meets at the Virginia Farm Bureau Office, 12580 West Creek Parkway in Richmond.

Air-Water Connections

10/1/19, 6:30 p.m.: Air Pollution Control Board/Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) public hearing on a permit-modification application by WestRock CP LLC in West Point (King William County).  At Pamunkey Regional Library, 721 Main Street in West Point.  The proposed permit would combine permit terms and conditions of four existing permits into a single permit document for equipment in the Powerhouse and Kraft Pulp Mill areas.  The pertinent section of the Virginia Administrative Code is 9 VAC 5-80-1915.

Dams

9/19/19, 9:30 a.m.: Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Districts Dam Owner Workgroup.  At the Prince Edward County Agriculture and Natural Resources Building, 100 Dominion Drive in Farmville.

Energy – Solar

9/23/19, 10 a.m.: Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Regulatory Advisory Panel Meeting on the Small Renewable Energy (Solar) Permit by Rule.  At the DEQ Piedmont Regional Office Training Room, 4949-A Cox Road in Glen Allen (Henrico County).  According to the Regulatory Town Hall notice for the September 23 meeting, this panel “will assist the Department of Environmental Quality in development of amendments to the regulation to address issues such as but not limited to permit fees, compliance and enforcement, and public participation procedures.”  The pertinent section of the Virginia Administrative Code is 9 VAC 15-60.

Fort Monroe

9/19/19, 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/.

Invasive Species

9/30/19, 10 a.m.: Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services/Office of Plant Industry Service’s Noxious Weeds Advisory Committee.  At the Department of Forestry, 900 Natural Resources in Charlottesville.  According to the Regulatory Town Hall notice for the September 30 meeting, “as required by 2 VAC 5-317-100 [in the Virginia Administrative Code], the Noxious Weeds Advisory Committee must meet at least once annually to assist the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services in the evaluation and risk assessment of plants that may be declared noxious weeds.”

Land and Watershed Management

10/3/19, 1 p.m.: Salt Management Strategy (SaMS) – Non-traditional Best Management Practices Workgroup.  At the Northern Virginia Regional Commission, 3040 Williams Drive in Fairfax.  According to the Regulatory Town Hall notice for this meeting, “[a] chloride TMDL has been developed for the Accotink Creek watershed located in Fairfax County.  Additionally, water quality patterns throughout the Northern Virginia region show that the chloride pollution issues observed in the Accotink Creek watershed are not isolated to that watershed, but instead widespread throughout the region.  Therefore, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) in partnership with a broad coalition of stakeholders that make up the SaMS Stakeholder Advisory Committee have begun the development of a comprehensive strategy that aims to provide recommendations for more efficient and effective use of salts during winter weather management.”

Ports

9/24/19, 9 a.m.: Virginia Port Authority Board of Commissioners.  At 101 West Main Street, Suite 600, in Norfolk.  On 9/23/19 at 101 West Main Street, Suite 600, in Norfolk, the board’s Growth and Operations Committee, Finance and Audit Committee, and Executive Committee meet at 2 p.m., 3:45 p.m., and 5 p.m., respectively.

Scenic Rivers

9/19/19, 12 p.m.: Historic Falls of the James Scenic River Advisory Board.  At Richmond City Hall, 900 East Broad Street.

State Parks and Preserves

9/19/19, 6 p.m.: Department of Conservation and Recreation update on the Chippokes Plantation State Park Master Plan.  At Chippokes Plantation State Park, Jones-Steward Mansion Conference Room, 695 Chippokes Park Road in Surry (Surry County).

9/25/19, 6 p.m.: Department of Conservation and Recreation update on the False Cape State Park Master Plan.  At First Landing State Park Trail Center, 2500 Shore Drive in Virginia Beach.

9/30/19, 6 p.m.: Department of Conservation and Recreation update on the Smith Mountain Lake State Park Master Plan.  At Smith Mountain Lake State Park Visitor Center, 1235 State Park Road in Huddleston (Bedford County).

Stormwater

9/30/19, 10 a.m.: Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Regulatory Advisory Panel on Consolidation of Erosion/Sediment Control Regulations and Stormwater Management Regulations.  At the DEQ’s Piedmont Regional Office, 4949 Cox Road in Glen Allen (Henrico County).  According to the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall notice for the September 30 meeting, the panel is to “assist the Department of Environmental Quality in the development of regulations to consolidate the Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Program and the Virginia Stormwater Management Program and create the Virginia Erosion and Stormwater Management Program.  Chapters 758 and 68 of the 2016 Acts of Assembly (House Bill 1250 and Senate Bill 673) combine the existing Virginia Stormwater Management Act and Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Law to create the Virginia Erosion and Stormwater Management Act.  The Department is required to initiate a regulatory action in order for this legislation to become effective.”

On Virginia Water Radio for the Week of 9-16-19: An Unusual Duck Drop-in

Virginia Water Radio’s episode for the week of September 16, 2019, is “A Duck Trio’s Unusual Visit to Virginia Tech.”  The 4 min./31 sec. episode, available online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/2019/09/episode-490-9-16-19-duck-trios-unusual.html, focused on the surprising visit of three Black-bellied Whistling Ducks to Blacksburg, Va., on September 10-11, 2019.  The episode includes closing music by the Harrisonburg,Va.-based band, The Steel Wheels.

490 Image 2 Whistling Ducks at Duck Pond 9-10-19 by Gloria SchoenholtzThree Black-bellied Whistling Ducks (Dendrocygna autumnalis) at the Virginia Tech Duck Pond in Blacksburg, September 10, 2019.  Photo by Gloria Schoenholtz, used with permission.

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 September 13-September 27, 2019

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

9/13/19, 9:30 a.m.: Air Pollution Control Board Committee on Public Engagement.  At the Bank of America Building, 3rd Floor Conference Room, 1111 East Main Street in Richmond.

9/17/19, 9 a.m.: Gas and Oil Board.  At the Russell County Office Building, 139 Highland Drive in Lebanon.

9/18/19, 10 a.m.: Commonwealth Transportation Board’s Environmental Task Force.  At the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Central Office 1221 East Broad Street in Richmond.

9/19/19, 1 p.m.: Board of Conservation and Recreation/Scenic Resources Subcommittee.  At the Department of Conservation and Recreation, 600 East Main Street in Richmond.

9/20/19, 10 a.m.: Air Pollution Control Board.  At the Bank of America Building, 3rd Floor Conference Room, 1111 East Main Street in Richmond.

9/24/19, 9:30 a.m.: Marine Resources Commission.  At 380 Fenwick Road in Ft. Monroe (adjacent to the City of Hampton).

9/25/19, 9 a.m.: Sewage Handling and Disposal Appeal Review Board.  At the Perimeter Center, Training Room 1A, 9960 Mayland Drive in Richmond.

9/25/19, 9 a.m.: Soil and Water Conservation Board/Audit Subcommittee.  At Old Dominion Electric Cooperative, 4201 Dominion Boulevard in Glen Allen (Henrico County).

9/26/19, 10 a.m.: Virginia Outdoors Foundation Board of Trustees.  At Germanna College, Workforce Center Room 105A, 10000 Germanna Point Drive in Fredericksburg.

*          *          *

VIRGINIA GENERAL ASSEMBLY WATER-RELATED MEETINGS

For meetings of legislative committees and commissions, see http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?191+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.   TMDL reports are available at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WaterQualityInformationTMDLs/TMDL/TMDLDevelopment/ApprovedTMDLReports.aspx. 

None during this period.

*          *          *

MEETINGS ON OTHER SPECIFIC TOPICS
(topics listed alphabetically)

Agriculture and Forestry

9/24/19, 9:30 a.m.: Department of Conservation and Recreation’s (DCR) Agricultural Best Management Practices Cost-share Program Technical Advisory Committee/Stream Protection Subcommittee.  At the DCR Regional Office at 12 Sunset Boulevard in Staunton.  The 9/16/19 meeting of the Forestry Subcommittee has been cancelled.

Chesapeake Bay

9/12/19, 1:15 p.m., and 9/13/19, 8:30 a.m.: Chesapeake Bay Commission.  At Gettysburg Heritage Center, 297 Steinwehr Avenue in Gettysburg, Penn.  Agenda available online (as PDF) at http://lis.virginia.gov/191/oth/Agenda.CBC.0912-1319.pdf.   The next regular meeting will be November 7-8, 2019, in Baltimore, Md.

Dams

9/19/19, 9:30 a.m.: Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Districts Dam Owner Workgroup.  At the Prince Edward County Agriculture and Natural Resources Building, 100 Dominion Drive in Farmville.

Energy – Solar

9/23/19, 10 a.m.: Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Regulatory Advisory Panel Meeting on the Small Renewable Energy (Solar) Permit by Rule.  At the DEQ Piedmont Regional Office Training Room, 4949-A Cox Road in Glen Allen (Henrico County).  According to the Regulatory Town Hall notice for the September 23 meeting, this panel “will assist the Department of Environmental Quality in development of amendments to the regulation to address issues such as but not limited to permit fees, compliance and enforcement, and public participation procedures.”  The relevant section of the Virginia Administrative Code is 9 VAC 15-60.

Environmental Justice

9/18/19, 10 a.m.: Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources’ 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/.

Fort Monroe 

9/19/19, 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/.

Groundwater

9/16/19, 2 p.m.: Groundwater Trading Work Group.  At Troutman Sanders Building, 15th Floor, 1001 Haxall Point in Richmond.  The 2018 Virginia General Assembly passed House Bill 1036, which continued the work group for the purposes of assisting the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) in carrying out the 2017 recommendation of the Eastern Virginia Groundwater Management Advisory Committee that an aquifer storage and recovery banking system be developed.  The work group is also charged with studying and identifying the components of a groundwater-trading program.

Ports

9/24/19, 9 a.m.: Virginia Port Authority Board of Commissioners.  At 101 West Main Street, Suite 600, in Norfolk.  On 9/23/19 at 101 West Main Street, Suite 600, in Norfolk, the board’s Growth and Operations Committee, Finance and Audit Committee, and Executive Committee meet at 2 p.m., 3:45 p.m., and 5 p.m., respectively.

River Basin Advisory Committees and Commissions

9/18/19, 1 p.m.: Rappahannock River Basin Commission.  At Germanna Community College, Daniel Technology Center, 18121 Technology Drive in Culpeper (Culpeper 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/.

State Parks and Preserves

9/19/19, 6 p.m.: Department of Conservation and Recreation update on the Chippokes Plantation State Park Master Plan.  At Chippokes Plantation State Park, Jones-Steward Mansion Conference Room, 695 Chippokes Park Road in Surry (Surry County).

9/25/19, 6 p.m.: Department of Conservation and Recreation update on the False Cape State Park Master Plan.  At First Landing State Park Trail Center, 2500 Shore Drive in Virginia Beach.

Scenic Rivers

9/17/19, 12 p.m.: Goose Creek Scenic River Advisory Committee.  At Goodstone Inn, 36205 Snake Hill Road in Middleburg (Loudoun County).

9/19/19, 12 p.m.: Historic Falls of the James Scenic River Advisory Board.  At Richmond City Hall, 900 East Broad Street.

On Virginia Water Radio for the Week of 9-9-19: Storm Surge in Tropical Cyclones

Virginia Water Radio’s episode for the week of September 9, 2019, is “Revisiting Storm Surge After Hurricane Dorian.”  The 5 min./13 sec. episode, available online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/2019/09/episode-489-9-9-19-revisiting-storm.html, revisits a previous episode on storm surge in tropical cyclones.

489 image 3 storm surge mapMap of storm surge watches and warnings area for Hurricane Dorian, issued on 9/6/19, 8 a.m. EDT, by the National Hurricane Center.  Image accessed online at https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/refresh/graphics_at5+shtml/211226.shtml?wsurge#contents, on 9/6/19, 9 a.m.


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 August 2019, Plus a Look at Flooding and 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 August 2019.  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 August 2019 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 August

2019 Observed

Monthly Normal Sep. 2018-

Aug 2019 Observed

Annual Normal
Blacksburg 2.84 3.59 50.12 40.89
Bluefield1 2.13 3.26 48.51 39.63
Bristol2 4.10 3.47 59.59 41.01
Charlottesville3 2.65 3.62 50.27 42.71
Danville 2.77 3.97 61.95 44.41
Lynchburg 3.24 3.26 53.34 41.57
Norfolk 7.57 5.52 48.79 46.53
Reagan National Airport4 1.99 2.93 59.96 39.74
Richmond 2.29 4.66 52.40 43.60
Roanoke 3.13 3.56 56.85 41.25
Wallops Island5 2.04 4.19 48.94 40.84
Washington-Dulles Airport6 4.79 3.53 53.33 41.54

Location notes
1 – The Bluefield location is the Mercer County, W. Va., airport, near the Va.-W.Va. state line.
2- The Bristol location is the 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, and for Virginia for the previous 30 days, all through August 31, 2019

PrecippercSE30AugPrecippercSE60AugPrecippercSE90AugPrecicpercVA30Aug
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 August 2019 at 157 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 90% of gages;
below normal – about 3% of gages;
above normal – about 6% of gages;
much above normal (or higher) – about 1% of gages.

Shown below is the color-coded, flow-percentile map for this period, accessed at the online 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 August 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 September 1, 2019, accessed on September 4 at https://waterwatch.usgs.gov/index.php?id=pa01d&sid=w__plot&r=va.

Streamflow plot thru Sep1 2019

NATIONWIDE FLOODING OVERVIEW

Following is the National Weather Service’s Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service’s (AHPS) map of stream and river levels relative to flood stage (color-coded) for the continental United States, as of about 3:30 p.m. EDT on September 4, 2019.  The current map is available online at http://water.weather.gov/ahps/forecasts.php; at that site, one can select Virginia or any other state of interest.

Flooding US Sep4 330pm

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 WillsDROUGHT IN VIRGINIA

The weekly U.S. Drought Monitor map from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/) for August 27, 2019, categorized about 17.4% of Virginia as being abnormally dry.

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:
7/30/19 – drought-free;
6/25/19 – 0.03% abnormally dry;
5/28/19 – 14.3% abnormally dry;
8/28/18 – drought-free.

In mid-August 2019, the Virginia Drought Monitoring Task Force (DMTF), a collaboration of state and federal agencies, issued its most recent report (as of 9-5-19).  A link to the most recent DMTF 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.

Following is the summary from the August report, and a map identifying the Drought Evaluation Regions used by the DMTF.

“The Virginia Drought Monitoring Task Force (DMTF) met on Thursday, August 15, 2019 to discuss the status of drought monitoring and hydrologic conditions in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Below-normal rainfall across parts of northern, central, and southwestern Virginia caused dry conditions in these areas.  Precipitation totals for the current water year (October 2018 through September 2019) remained within normal ranges however.  Stream flows and groundwater levels at nearly all long-term monitoring stations located across the Commonwealth were also in the normal range.  Hydrologic conditions continued to indicate little likelihood for widespread hydrologic drought during the upcoming fall months.  Variations in summer rainfall patterns could, however, result in rainfall deficits that can affect crop resources (agricultural drought).”

Drought Evaluation Regions

The DMTF also produces a map rating drought-status indicators, also online at https://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WaterSupplyWaterQuantity/Drought/CurrentDroughtConditionsMap.aspx.  Shown below is the map for September 1, 2019.  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 Status VA Sep1DROUGHT ELSEWHERE

The August 27, 2019, U.S. Drought Monitor categorized about 28.8% of the United States (including parts of 42 states plus Puerto Rico) as being abnormally dry or worse.  The Drought Monitor categorized about 2.3% of the country (including parts of 9 states plus Puerto Rico), 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:
7/30/19 – 22.8% abnormally dry or worse; 1.3% severe drought or worse;
6/25/19 – 10.6% abnormally dry or worse; 0.8% severe drought or worse;
5/28/19 – 11.3% abnormally dry or worse; 0.3% severe drought or worse;
8/28/18 – 47.5% abnormally dry or worse; 16.2% severe drought or worse.

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 September 4, 2019.

Drought Outlook US Sep4

Storm Surge General Information Resources as of September 2019 for Virginia and Elsewhere

Following are some online general information sources related to storm surge, one of the main hazards associated with Hurricane Dorian in September 2019 as well as with many other past tropical storms and likely with many future ones.

NOAA National Storm Surge Hazard Maps, online at https://www.arcgis.com/apps/MapSeries/index.html?appid=d9ed7904dbec441a9c4dd7b277935fad.

National Hurricane Center “Storm Surge Overview” Web site, online at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/surge/.

Virginia Department of Emergency Management video (Aug. 2010; 2 minutes/48 seconds) on vulnerable areas in Virginia, insurance issues, and preparedness recommendations; online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_profilepage&v=83m2K2VNUUo.

For the latest information about storm surge potential or other potential hazards in any approaching or ongoing tropical storm, see the National Hurricane Center Web site at https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/, or contact your state or local department of emergency management.  For Virginia, that’s the state Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) is online at https://www.vaemergency.gov/.

VDEM “Know Your Zone” Evacuation Zone Website for Coastal Virginia as of September 2019

The Virginia Department of Emergency Management’s (VDEM) “Know Your Zone” online tool, to assist evacuations during hurricanes and other disasters, is available at https://www.vaemergency.gov/hurricane-evacuation-zone-lookup/.

The four-zone tool covers about 1.25 million people in Hampton Roads, the Northern Neck, the Middle Peninsula, and the Eastern Shore.

Following is the VDEM text on the tool, from its main Web page as of 9-4-19:

“‘Know Your Zone’ serves roughly 1.25 million residents who live in Coastal Virginia, the region of the state most vulnerable to hurricanes and other tropical storms. Twenty-three localities participate in the tiered evacuation zones.  Zones were developed in close coordination with local emergency managers throughout Hampton Roads, the Northern Neck, the Middle Peninsula and the Eastern Shore based on the most up-to-date engineering data for the region.

“Zones are designated A through D. Zones provide residents with clarity on whether they should evacuate in an emergency or shelter at home, based on their physical street address and the nature of the emergency event. When a serious storm is expected to threaten or impact Virginia’s coastal regions, state and local emergency agencies will work with local news media outlets, as well as social media channels, that will then broadcast and publish evacuation directives to the public.

“This website displays a detailed, interactive, color-coded map showing each evacuation zone. Residents can use the map to view their region or zoom in to their residential neighborhood and street. Users can enter their physical address in the search bar to view and confirm their designated evacuation zone.”

Additional Source: New evacuation zones announced for coastal Virginia, Daily Press, 6/2/17.