Category Archives: Water Supply

Virginia Precipitation and Stream Flow for the 7-day Period Ending June 11, 2018, Plus an Overview of Flooding Nationwide

Below are several items summarizing recent precipitation and stream flow:

  1. Images showing precipitation in Virginia and other areas of the United States for the period, and stream flow in Virginia, over the seven-day period ending June 11, 2018 (information available as of June 12).
  2. Flooding overview maps for Virginia and nationwide, as of June 12.

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 and West Virginia Science Center’s Web site, https://www.usgs.gov/centers/va-wv-water.

GAGE June 2018 Goose Creek near Huddleston Bedford County Rt 735 Jun15 2017 HAVE AUDIO

June 2018 Gaging Station of the Month: Goose Creek near Huddleston (Bedford County), June15, 2017.  U.S. Geological Survey information from this gage is online at https://waterdata.usgs.gov/va/nwis/inventory/?site_no=02059500.  For the Virginia map of gaging sites, see https://waterdata.usgs.gov/va/nwis/rt.

Precipitation

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 June 11, 2018.  As of that date, these data were provisional (needing to be verified for accuracy and subject to possible revision).  The maps were accessed from the High Plains Regional Climate Center, located at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, online at https://hprcc.unl.edu/maps.php?map=ACISClimateMaps.

Precip Jun11Precip perc Jun 11 

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 8 a.m. EDT on June 12, 2018.  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.

Preicp US Jun 12


Stream Flow

Seven-day-average stream flows at Virginia gaging stations as of June 11, 2018, are indicated in the map below, from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) 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.  Note: Additional gaging stations (such as for reservoirs or for inactive sites) are shown on maps available at the USGS’ National Water Information System Mapper, online at https://maps.waterdata.usgs.gov/mapper/index.html.

Streams June 11

KEEP on deskto - Stream flow code graph

Flooding Overview

As of about 3 p.m. EDT on June 11, 2018, about 25 stream-gaging stations in Virginia or in nearby areas of adjacent states were experiencing flooding or near flood stage, according to the National Weather Service’s Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service’s (AHPS) map of stream and river levels relative to flood stage (color-coded) for Virginia and nearby areas.  The AHPS map for Virginia is shown below along with the nationwide map as of the same time.  The maps are available online at http://water.weather.gov/ahps/forecasts.php; at that site, one can select Virginia or any other state of interest.

Flooding 1 VAFlooding 2 US June 12

 

 

Virginia Water Status Report as of the End of May/Start of June 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 the end of May/start of June 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 May 2018 at 11 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 May 2018 Observed Monthly Normal June 2017-

May 2018 Observed

Annual Normal
Blacksburg 5.97 4.33 41.06 40.89
Bluefield1 5.42 4.31 39.67 39.63
Bristol2 7.85 3.80 44.88 41.01
Charlottesville3 9.63 3.98 38.02 42.71
Danville* 6.60 3.88 41.38 44.41
Lynchburg 8.32 3.73 38.67 41.57
Norfolk 7.68 3.41 47.55 46.53
Richmond 10.35RH 3.78 41.14 43.60
Roanoke 9.50 4.06 39.53 41.25
Wallops Island4 5.89 2.95 49.97 40.84
Washington-Dulles Airport5 8.92 4.55 42.22 41.54

RH = record monthly high for the location.

*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 – Wallops Island is in Accomack County.
5 – Washington-Dulles Airport is in Loudoun County.

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

Precipperc30Precipperc60Precipperc90 

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 May 2018 at 155 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 12% of gages;
below normal – about 1%;
above normal – about 29%.
much above normal – about 58%.

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 May 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 June 4, 2018, accessed on June 7, 2018, at https://waterwatch.usgs.gov/index.php?id=pa01d&sid=w__plot&r=va.

Streams plot June

Water status icons groundwater by George WillsInformation 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 June 5, 2018, categorized Virginia as drought-free for the first time since the week of June 20, 2017.

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:
5/1/18– 28.5% abnormally dry or worse; 6.0% moderate drought;
3/27/18 – 54.6% abnormally dry or worse; 9.0% moderate drought;
2/27/18 – 59.7% abnormally dry or worse; 12.3% moderate drought;
6/6/17 – drought-free.

In early June 2018, the Virginia Drought Monitoring Task Force (DMTF), a collaboration of state and federal agencies, issued its most recent report.  A link to the 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.

The DMTF also produces a map rating drought-status indicators, also online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WaterSupplyWaterQuantity/Drought/DroughtMonitoring.aspx.  Shown below is the map for June 6, 2018, followed by a map identifying the Drought Evaluation Regions used by the DMTF.  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 VA June 6Drought Evaluation Regions

 

DROUGHT ELSEWHERE

The June 5, 2018, U.S. Drought Monitor categorized about 39.0% of the United States (including all or parts of 33 states plus Puerto Rico) as being abnormally dry or worse.  The Drought Monitor categorized about 14.3% of the country (including parts of 13 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:
5/1/18 – 37.5% abnormally dry or worse; 13.6% severe drought or worse;
3/27/18 – 44.5% abnormally dry or worse; 13.7% severe drought or worse;
2/27/18 – 50.0% abnormally dry or worse; 12.0% severe drought or worse;
6/6/17 – 19.7% abnormally dry or worse; 1.1% severe drought or worse.

The following states had 50% or more of their land area categorized by the June 5, 2018, Drought Monitor in severe-or-worse drought:
Arizona – 97%;
Colorado – 51%;
New Mexico – 88%;
Utah – 60%.

Following are some comments from the June 5 Drought Monitor on conditions in several regions:

Northeast
“…Precipitation deficits for the past 30-days ranged from about 1-4 inches below normal, with the higher deficits indicated over far southern Maine and adjacent portions of New Hampshire.  Stream flows in this area are within the lowest quartile of the historical distribution for this day of the year, especially in Maine….”

Southeast
“Although southern Virginia did not receive the very heavy rainfall that was reported just to its north, it still received enough to justify wiping out any residual dryness.  In North Carolina, while some areas were too wet for farmers to complete field operations due to rainfall over the last few weeks, most areas were showing normal groundwater conditions, and the remaining D0 area in the state was removed.  Any lingering D0 was also removed in Georgia this week, consistent with adequate soil moisture conditions.  Eleven locations…have measured 13 or more inches of rain for the month of May in northeastern Georgia, with 2 locations in west-central Georgia.  In Alabama, streams were near or above normal in the aftermath of [Subtropical Storm] Alberto….”

South
“…[T]he entire Texas drought depiction experienced another major overhaul this week.  Low stream flows have been an issue in the Texas Hill Country for several months already.  The position of the impacts line was adjusted to approximately bifurcate the state into a western portion (…with longer-term deficits appearing), and an eastern portion (still short-term deficits)….”

Midwest
“…[T]he importance of rapid loss of moisture through evaporation has become a very important consideration in early detection of flash drought; hence the increasing reliance upon the Evaporative Demand Drought Index (EDDI).  High values of the 2-week EDDI (ED1 to ED3) across the Corn Belt are indicative of significant moisture loss, which must be balanced against any moisture gains that occur through precipitation. It is the interplay between evaporation, high heat, rainfall, soil moisture, and wind speeds that has a significant bearing on accurate drought prediction.”

High Plains
“…Both improvements and degradations were also made to the South Dakota depiction, which received much less rain this week than its northern counterpart.  For example, Aberdeen reported only 0.52-inch of rain in May (2.59 inches below normal), making it the seventh driest on record.  …A spectacular dust storm, attended by 50-80 mph winds, blew through this region (Hand and Faulk Counties) on June 1st….”

West
In western Oregon and western Washington, an extended dry pattern set in ahead of schedule, with rapidly declining stream flows (most are now within the lowest quartile of the historical distribution for the day of the year). …[I] southwestern New Mexico, water restrictions were initiated as storage in the Elephant Butte and Caballo reservoirs (along the Rio Grande in Sierra County) dropped below 400,000 acre-feet.”

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 June 1, 2018.
Drought outlook May 17

 

 

 

Virginia Water Status Report as of the End of April 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 the end of April 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.

01 Icon Precip

Here are National Weather Service (NWS) preliminary (still needing verification) precipitation totals for April 2018 at 11 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 April 2018 Observed Monthly Normal May 2017-

April 2018 Observed

Annual Normal
Blacksburg 4.41 3.48 41.39 40.89
Bluefield1 3.39 3.34 41.03 39.63
Bristol2 2.97 3.33 44.81 41.01
Charlottesville3 3.79 3.36 37.17 42.71
Danville* 4.58 3.46 40.82 44.41
Lynchburg 4.80 3.31 38.23 41.57
Norfolk 3.41 3.41 48.43 46.53
Richmond 3.58 3.27 38.36 43.60
Roanoke 4.03 3.37 38.17 41.25
Wallops Island4 2.03 3.07 47.74 40.84
Washington-Dulles Airport5 3.55 3.47 41.79 41.54

*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 – Wallops Island is in Accomack County.
5 – Washington-Dulles Airport is in Loudoun County.

Precipitation sources:  Climate pages of the following National Weather Service Forecast Offices:
Blacksburg, Va. (http://www.nws.noaa.gov/climate/index.php?wfo=rnk);
Morristown, Tenn. (http://www.weather.gov/climate/index.php?wfo=mrx;
Baltimore-Washington (http://www.nws.noaa.gov/climate/index.php?wfo=lwx); and
Wakefield, Va. (http://www.nws.noaa.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 April 29, 2018.  Please note that the scale is different for the 60-day map.

Precip 30 days Apr29Precip 60 days Apr29Precip 90 days Apr29 

02 Icon Streamflow
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 April 2018 at 159 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 59% of gages;
below normal – about 4%;
above normal – about 30%.
much above normal – about 7%.

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 Apr 

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 April 28, 2018, accessed on May 1, 2018, at https://waterwatch.usgs.gov/index.php?id=pa01d&sid=w__plot&r=va.

Streams Plot Apr30

03 Icon Groundwater
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).

04 Icon DroughtDROUGHT IN VIRGINIA

The weekly U.S. Drought Monitor map from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/) for May 1, 2018, categorized about 29% of Virginia as “abnormally dry” or worse (covering most of the Coastal Plain and Eastern Shore) and about 6% in “moderate drought” (covering parts of Southside).

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:
3/27/18 – 54.6% abnormally dry or worse; 9.0% moderate drought;
2/27/18 – 59.7% abnormally dry or worse; 12.3% moderate drought;
1/30/18 – 97.9% abnormally dry or worse; 48.6% moderate drought or worse; 2.9% severe drought;
5/2/17 – 32.1% abnormally dry or worse; 15.9% moderate drought.

In early April 2018, the Virginia Drought Monitoring Task Force (DMTF), a collaboration of state and federal agencies, issued its most recent report.  A link to the 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.  The Task Force was next scheduled to meet on May 10, 2018.

The DMTF also produces a map rating drought-status indicators, also online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WaterSupplyWaterQuantity/Drought/DroughtMonitoring.aspx.  Shown below is the map for April 30, 2018, followed by a map identifying the Drought Evaluation Regions used by the DMTF.  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 VA Apr30VA Drought Evaluation Regions map

DROUGHT ELSEWHERE

The May 1, 2018, U.S. Drought Monitor categorized about 37.5% of the United States (including all or parts of 33 states) as being abnormally dry or worse.  The Drought Monitor categorized about 13.6% of the country (including parts of 12 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:
3/27/18 – 44.5% abnormally dry or worse; 13.7% severe drought or worse;
2/27/18 – 50.0% abnormally dry or worse; 12.0% severe drought or worse;
1/30/18 – 61.9% abnormally dry or worse; 14.4% severe drought or worse;
5/2/17 – 17.4% abnormally dry or worse; 1.1% severe drought or worse.

The following states had 50% or more categorized by the May 1, 2018, Drought Monitor in severe-or-worse drought:
Arizona – 96%;
Kansas – 59%;
New Mexico – 81%;
Utah – 58%.

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 May 1, 2018.

Drought Outlook US Apr15

 

Virginia Precipitation and Stream Flow for the 7-day Period Ending April 23, 2018, Plus an Overview of Flooding Nationwide

Below are several items summarizing recent precipitation and stream flow:

  1. Images showing precipitation in Virginia and other areas of the United States for the period, and stream flow in Virginia, over the seven-day period ending April 23, 2018 (information available as of April 24).
  2. Flooding overview maps for Virginia and nationwide, as of April 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 and West Virginia Science Center’s Web site, https://www.usgs.gov/centers/va-wv-water.

GAGE Apr2018 Piney River at Piney River Nelson County ONE Mar3 2018

April 2018 Gaging Station of the Month: Piney River at the community of Piney River, Va. (Nelson County), March 3, 2018.  U.S. Geological Survey information from this gage is online at https://waterdata.usgs.gov/va/nwis/inventory/?site_no=02027500.  For the Virginia map of gaging sites, see https://waterdata.usgs.gov/va/nwis/rt.

Precipitation

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 April 23, 2018.  As of that date, these data were provisional (needing to be verified for accuracy and subject to possible revision).  The maps were accessed from the High Plains Regional Climate Center, located at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, online at https://hprcc.unl.edu/maps.php?map=ACISClimateMaps.

Precip Apr23Precipperc Apr23

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 8 a.m. EDT on April 24, 2018.  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.

Precip US Apr24

Stream Flow

Seven-day-average stream flows at Virginia gaging stations as of April 23, 2018, are indicated in the map below, from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) 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.  Note: Additional gaging stations (such as for reservoirs or for inactive sites) are shown on maps available at the USGS’ National Water Information System Mapper, online at https://maps.waterdata.usgs.gov/mapper/index.html.

Streams Apr23

KEEP on deskto - Stream flow code graph

Flooding Overview

As of about 4 p.m. EDT on April 24, 2018, about 15 stream-gaging stations in Virginia or in nearby areas of adjacent states were experiencing flooding or near flood stage, according to the National Weather Service’s Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service’s (AHPS) map of stream and river levels relative to flood stage (color-coded) for Virginia and nearby areas.  The AHPS map for Virginia is shown below along with the nationwide map as of the same time.  The maps are available online at http://water.weather.gov/ahps/forecasts.php; at that site, one can select Virginia or any other state of interest.

Flooding 01 VAFlooding 02 US

Virginia Water Status Report as of the End of March 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 the end of March 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.

01 Icon Precip

Here are National Weather Service (NWS) preliminary (still needing verification) precipitation totals for March 2018 at 11 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 March 2018 Observed Monthly Normal April 2017-

March 2018 Observed

Annual Normal
Blacksburg 4.66 3.64 42.90 40.89
Bluefield1 4.69 3.51 42.23 39.63
Bristol2 4.41 3.44 47.00 41.01
Charlottesville3 1.81 3.66 36.18 42.71
Danville* 3.55 4.11 43.78 44.41
Lynchburg 3.07 3.58 37.61 41.57
Norfolk 3.88 3.68 48.60 46.53
Richmond 2.33 4.04 37.06 43.60
Roanoke 3.38 3.46 40.06 41.25
Wallops Island4 3.52 4.00 48.02 40.84
Washington-Dulles Airport5 1.79 3.38 41.28 41.54

*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 – Wallops Island is in Accomack County.
5 – Washington-Dulles Airport is in Loudoun County.

Precipitation sources:  Climate pages of the following National Weather Service Forecast Offices:
Blacksburg, Va. (http://www.nws.noaa.gov/climate/index.php?wfo=rnk);
Morristown, Tenn. (http://www.weather.gov/climate/index.php?wfo=mrx;
Baltimore-Washington (http://www.nws.noaa.gov/climate/index.php?wfo=lwx); and
Wakefield, Va. (http://www.nws.noaa.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 April 1, 2018.

PrecipSE30Apr2PrecipSE60Apr2PrecipSE90Apr2 

02 Icon Streamflow

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 March 2018 at 163 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 39% of gages;
below normal – about 28%;
much below normal – about 32%;
above normal – about 1%.

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 March 2018 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 March 31, 2018, accessed on April 2, 2018, at https://waterwatch.usgs.gov/index.php?id=pa01d&sid=w__plot&r=va.

Streams plot

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).

04 Icon DroughtDROUGHT IN VIRGINIA

The weekly U.S. Drought Monitor map from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/) for March 27, 2018, categorized about 54.6% of Virginia as “abnormally dry” or worse (covering essentially all of the Piedmont and the northern Coastal Plain) and about 9.0% in “moderate drought” (covering parts of northern Virginia and of Southside).

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:
2/27/18 – 59.7% abnormally dry or worse; 12.3% moderate drought;
1/30/18 – 97.9% abnormally dry or worse; 48.6% moderate drought or worse; 2.9% severe drought;
12/26/17 – 97.4% abnormally dry or worse; 42.9% moderate drought;
3/28/17 – 61.0% abnormally dry or worse; 41.0% moderate drought or worse; 2.2% severe drought;

In early March 2018, the Virginia Drought Monitoring Task Force (DMTF), a collaboration of state and federal agencies, issued its most recent report.  A link to the 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.  The Task Force was next scheduled to meet on April 5, 2018.

The DMTF also produces a map rating drought-status indicators, also online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WaterSupplyWaterQuantity/Drought/DroughtMonitoring.aspx.  Shown below is the map for April 1, 2018, followed by a map identifying the Drought Evaluation Regions used by the DMTF.  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 VA Apr1VA Drought Evaluation Regions map

DROUGHT ELSEWHERE

The March 27, 2018, U.S. Drought Monitor categorized about 44.5% of the United States (including all or parts of 33 states) as being abnormally dry or worse.  The Drought Monitor categorized about 13.7% of the country (including parts of 13 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:
2/27/18 – 50.0% abnormally dry or worse; 12.0% severe drought or worse;
1/30/18 – 61.9% abnormally dry or worse; 14.4% severe drought or worse;
12/26/17 – 45.8% abnormally dry or worse; 4.1% severe drought or worse;
3/28/17 – 34.9% abnormally dry or worse; 2.4% severe drought or worse.

The following states had 50% or more categorized by the March 27, 2018, Drought Monitor in severe-or-worse drought:
Arizona – 89%;
Kansas – 56%;
New Mexico – 78%;
Utah – 57%.

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 April 2, 2018.
Drought outlook Mar15

 

Virginia Water Status Report as of the End of February 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 the end of February 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.

01 Icon Precip

Here are National Weather Service (NWS) preliminary (still needing verification) precipitation totals for February 2018 at 11 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 February 2018 Observed Monthly Normal March 2017-

February 2018 Observed

Annual Normal
Blacksburg 4.66 2.81 41.48 40.89
Bluefield1 5.19 2.76 41.16 39.63
Bristol2 7.16 3.45 47.16 41.01
Charlottesville3 4.35 2.70 37.10 42.71
Danville* 2.39 3.01 42.88 44.41
Lynchburg 5.72 2.93 37.20 41.57
Norfolk 1.73 3.12 49.33 46.53
Richmond 2.04 2.76 38.41 43.60
Roanoke 3.98 2.89 39.00 41.25
Wallops Island4 1.85 2.76 47.88 40.84
Washington-Dulles Airport5 4.60 2.74 43.61 41.54

*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 – Wallops Island is in Accomack County.
5 – Washington-Dulles Airport is in Loudoun County.

Precipitation sources:  Climate pages of the following National Weather Service Forecast Offices:
Blacksburg, Va. (http://www.nws.noaa.gov/climate/index.php?wfo=rnk);
Morristown, Tenn. (http://www.weather.gov/climate/index.php?wfo=mrx;
Baltimore-Washington (http://www.nws.noaa.gov/climate/index.php?wfo=lwx); and
Wakefield, Va. (http://www.nws.noaa.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 February 28, 2018.

Precip30Precip60Precip90 

02 Icon Streamflow
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 February 2018 at 161 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 58% of gages;
below normal – about 9%;
much below normal – about 1%;
above normal – about 20%;
much above normal – about 12%.

Shown below is the color-coded, flow-percentile map for this period, at the Web site given in the paragraph above.  The map below the chart shows the color codes/percentile classes used by USGS to compare flows to historical records for the month.

Streams Feb 

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 February 27, 2018, accessed on March 1, 2018, at https://waterwatch.usgs.gov/index.php?id=pa01d&sid=w__plot&r=va.

Streams plot
03 Icon Groundwater
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).

04 Icon Drought DROUGHT IN VIRGINIA

The weekly U.S. Drought Monitor map from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/) for February 27, 2018, categorized about 59.7% of Virginia as “abnormally dry” or worse (covering essentially all of the Piedmont and the northern Coastal Plain) and about 12.3 % in “moderate drought” (covering essentially parts of northern Virginia and of Southside).

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:
1/30/18 – 97.9% abnormally dry or worse; 48.6% moderate drought or worse; 2.9% severe drought;
12/26/17 – 97.4% abnormally dry or worse; 42.9% moderate drought;
11/28/17 – 44.1% abnormally dry or worse; 3.9% moderate drought;
2/28/17 – 80.5% abnormally dry or worse; 17.1% moderate drought or worse; 2.9% severe drought;

In early February 2018, the Virginia Drought Monitoring Task Force (DMTF), a collaboration of state and federal agencies, issued its most recent report (as of 3/5/18).  A link to the 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.  The Task Force was next scheduled to meet on March 8, 2018.

The DMTF also produces a map rating drought-status indicators, also online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WaterSupplyWaterQuantity/Drought/DroughtMonitoring.aspx.  Shown below is the map for February 28, 2018, followed by a map identifying the Drought Evaluation Regions used by the DMTF.  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.”

Va Drought Feb28VA Drought Evaluation Regions map

DROUGHT ELSEWHERE

The February 27, 2018, U.S. Drought Monitor categorized about 50.0% of the United States (including all or parts of 35 states) as being abnormally dry or worse.  The Drought Monitor categorized about 12.0% 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:
1/30/18 – 61.9% abnormally dry or worse; 14.4% severe drought or worse;
12/26/17 – 45.8% abnormally dry or worse; 4.1% severe drought or worse;
11/28/17 – 35.7% abnormally dry or worse; 4.1% severe drought or worse;
2/28/17 – 34.0% abnormally dry or worse; 3.1% severe drought or worse.

The following states had 50% or more categorized by the February 27, 2018, Drought Monitor in severe-or-worse drought:
Arizona – 74%;
New Mexico – 78%;
Utah – 52%.

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 March 1, 2018.
Drought outlook Feb15

 

Drinking Water Issues in 11 Cities Worldwide Described in February 2018 BBC Article

The 11 Cities Most Likely to Run Out of Drinking Water,” BBC News, February 11, 2018, is available online at http://www.bbc.com/news/world-42982959.  The article gives brief overviews of water-supply issues in the following cities (listed in the order presented in the article): São Paulo, Brazil; Bangalore, India; Beijing, China; Cairo, Egypt; Jakarta, Indonesia; Moscow, Russia; Istanbul, Turkey; Mexico City, Mexico; London, England; Tokyo, Japan; and Miami in the United States.