The June 10, 2014, U.S. Drought Monitor rated about six percent of Virginia as being in “moderate drought.” The moderate-drought area covered all or parts of seven southwestern counties. This was the first time any of Virginia had been rated as being in moderate drought since the January 29, 2013, Drought Monitor. The Drought Monitor is issued weekly by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln; it’s available online at http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/.
Please note that the June 10 Drought Monitor report preceded substantial rains that fell over much of Virginia from June 10-13 (the amounts of which you can see in maps from the National Weather Service’s Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service, online at http://water.weather.gov/precip/). The June 17 Drought Monitor’s ratings will take that rainfall into account.
The Drought Monitor notes that it “focuses on broad-scale conditions, and local conditions may vary….” The Drought Monitor’s categories, from mildest to most severe, are as follows:
D0 = Abnormally Dry;
D1 = Moderate Drought;
D2 = Severe Drought;
D3 = Extreme Drought;
D4 = Exceptional Drought.
The current Virginia drought map and a link to archived maps are available at http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/Home/StateDroughtMonitor.aspx?VA. The archive of weekly category ratings for Virginia is available at http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/MapsAndData/DataTables.aspx.
For more on drought status in Virginia: The Virginia Drought Monitoring Task Force, a collaboration of state and federal agencies, issued its most recent Drought Status Report on May 15, 2014, and expects to issue its next report in July 2014. The status reports and other information are available online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WaterSupplyWaterQuantity/Drought.aspx. Information is typically provided by 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.