Southeastern U.S. Precipitation and Virginia Stream Flow Look-back at Spring 2014

On June 24, with Virginia’s and the Northern Hemisphere’s longest day of 2014 just a few days gone by, here’s a look back at what happened with rainfall in the southeastern United States and stream flow in Virginia in spring 2014.  The Virginia Water Resources Research Center is grateful to the agencies mentioned above for their work to providing these valuable assessment products.

The following “Percent of Normal Precipitation” graph, from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Southeast Regional Climate Center, located at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill (, accessed 6/24/14), shows how precipitation values across the southeastern United States between March 26 and June 23, 2014, compared to historical normal values for that periodThese data are provisional.  Note the yellow/green division in Virginia, showing normal to below-normal amounts in southwestern Virginia, and normal to somewhat above-normal values in most of the rest of the state.  These rainfall levels have led to the occurrence (since later April 2014) of “abnormally dry” or “moderate drought” conditions in parts of southwestern Virginia and around the Martinsville area, according to the June 17, 2014, report of the U.S. Drought Monitor.  (The Drought Monitor is produced by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and is available online at  Virginia has had some level of drought since the April 22, 2014 Drought Monitor report.

90 precip departure Jun23


Outside of Virginia, note that parts of the southeastern United States received below-normal precipitation during this period—particularly southern Florida—but much of the region received normal or above-normal precipitation (well above normal in some area Gulf Coast areas).  The June 17 Drought Monitor rated about 5 percent of the southeastern United States as abnormally dry, compared to approximately six percent on March 25, 2014.

For another color-coded map of precipitation in Virginia or any other state of your choosing, see the National Weather Service’s Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service’s nationwide map of precipitation, with daily, monthly, and yearly archives; online at

Stream Flow
The first graph below, from the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) “WaterWatch—Current Water Resources Conditions” Web site (, accessed 6/24/14), compares average daily stream flow to historical records for the period May 10—June 22, 2014. The second graph covers the period since January 2001.  The data in the graphs come from 87 sites that have at least 30 years of records.  Each graph uses a “stream flow index,” which measures how a site’s average stream flow over 24 hours compares to the historical average stream flow for that same site and date.  The graphs shows a further average: the stream flow index averaged statewide over the 87 sites.

Stream flow 45 days

streamflow since 2001



For links to several other sources of streamflow, precipitation, groundwater, and other water-status information, please visit the Water Center’s “Water Status Information” Web page at

Click the following for the Virginia Water Central News Grouper’s previous seasonal look-backs on precipitation and streamflow:

Winter 2013 – 2014
[Fall 2013 – Missed.]
Summer 2013
Spring 2013
Winter 2012-13
[Fall 2012 – Missed.]
[Summer 2012 – Missed.]
Spring 2012
Winter 2012
Fall 2011
Summer 2011

And click the following for the News Grouper’s most recent monthly Virginia water status report (on precipitation, stream flow, groundwater, and drought), with links to access the previous 12 months’ reports:

May 2014

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