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 January 23, 2017 (information available as of January 23). Also below is a national flooding overview map, as of January 24. The Virginia Water Resources Research Center thanks the agencies mentioned below for providing precipitation and stream-flow information and images. For the current month’s other weekly reports on stream flow and precipitation, please see the News Grouper posts available at this link: https://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/?s=Virginia+Precipitation.
For monthly reviews of precipitation, stream flow, and drought, please see the 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/.
January 2017 Gaging Station of the Month: Smith River just below Philpott Reservoir dam on the Franklin County/Henry County line, January 16, 2017.
The following two color-coded maps show southeastern U.S. precipitation amounts (top map) and the percent of normal precipitation compared to normal for this period of the year (bottom map) over the seven-day period ending January 23, 2017. The maps were accessed 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).
Another source of precipitation data is the National Weather Service’s Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service, online at http://water.weather.gov/precip/. The site provides maps showing precipitation nationwide or by state for specific days, months, or years. The site also has the capability to show county boundaries, and other map layers available include river flood forecasts and current flood/severe weather warnings. Shown below is the continental U.S. 7-day precipitation map as of 7 a.m. EST on 1/24/17. Please note that UTC, the time shown on the maps at the site, is five hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time and four hours ahead of Eastern Daylight Time.
Seven-day-average Virginia stream flows at different gaging stations as of January 23 are indicated in the map below, from the U.S. Geological Survey WaterWatch for Virginia, accessed online at http://waterwatch.usgs.gov/index.php?m=pa07d&r=va&w=map. 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 color codes/percentile classes used by USGS are as shown in the chart following the map.
Flooding Overview Regionally
As of about 9 a.m. on January 24, 2017, about 30 stream-gaging stations in eastern and central Virginia were near flood stage or experiencing minor flooding. The National Weather Service’s Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Center’s map of river levels relative to flood stage (color-coded) is available online at http://water.weather.gov/ahps/forecasts.php; shown below is a screenshot of the map available online at that site as of 9 a.m. on 1/24/17 (zoomed to the region around Virginia).