Category Archives: Water Supply

Virginia Precipitation and Stream Flow for the 7-day Period Ending February 9, 2016

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 February 9, 2016. The Virginia Water Resources Research Center thanks the agencies mentioned below for providing precipitation and stream-flow information and images. For monthly reviews of precipitation, stream flow, and drought, please see the News Grouper 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/.

USED Jun09 and Grouper Scottsville current one Feb11 09

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) streamflow-gaging station on the James River at Scottsville, Va. (Albemarle County), Feb. 11, 2009.

Precipitation

The following two color-coded maps show southeastern U.S. precipitation amounts over the seven-day period ending February 9, 2016 (top map) and the percent of normal precipitation compared to normal for this period of the year (bottom map). The maps were accessed on 2/10/15 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).

Precip Feb9Precip perc Feb 9

Another source of precipitation data is the National Weather Service’s Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service, http://water.weather.gov/precip/, 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. 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.

Stream Flow

Average Virginia stream flow over the seven-day period ending February 9, 2016, is 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 on 2/10/16.  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.

Streams Feb9

KEEP on deskto - Stream flow code graph

Freshwater in North Carolina’s Coastal Plain is Focus of Feb. 16, 2016, Conference in New Bern, N.C.

“Freshwater in the North Carolina Coastal Plain: Understanding and Preparing for 21st Century Challenges” will be held February 16, 2016, at the New Bern Convention Center in New Bern, North Carolina.  The conference is sponsored by the North Carolina Water Resources Research Institute (at North Carolina State University in Raleigh), East Carolina University, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the Cape Fear Public Service Authority.  The conference is intended for academic researchers and students, state agency staff, local governments, water utilities, and private consultants.  For more information, visit https://wrri.ncsu.edu/wrri-events/coastal-plain/, or contact Anna Martin at the North Carolina Water Resources Research Institute, phone (919) 513-1203 or e-mail to anna_arnold@ncsu.edu.

Virginia Water Status Report as of the End of January 2016, 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 January 2016. 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: Please see this link: https://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/?s=Water+Status.

Precipitation Icon by George Wills

Here are National Weather Service (NWS) preliminary (still needing verification) precipitation totals for January 2016 at 11 Virginia or near-Virginia locations, along with the normal 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 normal annual precipitation for each location. All values are in inches.

Location January 2016

Precipitation

 

Normal for Month Feb. 2015-Jan. 2016 Precipitation

 

Normal Annual Precipitation
Blacksburg 2.44 3.08 50.14 40.89

 

Bluefield1

 

1.85 2.90 42.37 39.63
Bristol2

 

2.92 3.37 45.21 41.01
Charlottesville3

 

1.86 2.77 46.92 42.71
Danville

 

2.54 3.42 53.07 44.41
Lynchburg

 

2.77 3.14 46.21 41.57
Norfolk

 

4.62 3.40 50.62 46.53
Richmond

 

3.30 3.04 49.02 43.60
Roanoke

 

2.99 2.92 56.24 41.25
Wallops Island4

 

2.62 3.04 43.80 40.84
Washington-Dulles Airport5 4.47 2.68 40.59 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 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 Southeast Regional Climate Center (Chapel Hill, N.C) at http://www.sercc.com/climateinfo/precip_maps, where you can find maps of total precipitation and percent of normal precipitation for the past 7, 30, 60, or 90 days; 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 Southeast Regional Climate Center’s preliminary maps of the percent-of-normal precipitation for the previous 30 days, 60 days, and 90 days, through January 31, 2016. Please note that the scale is different for the 30-day map.

Precipperc30

Precipperc60

Precipperc90

 Stream flow icon by George Wills

According to the U.S. Geological Survey WaterWatch for Virginia (online at http://waterwatch.usgs.gov/index.php?m=mv01d&r=va&w=map), monthly average stream flow values for January 2016 at 154 stream gages in Virginia and just beyond the state border were in the normal range at 81% of gages, below normal at 14%, above normal at 12%, and much above normal at 3%. The color-coded, flow-percentile map for this period is shown below. The color codes/percentile classes used by USGS to compared flows to historical records for the month are shown in the chart below the map.

Streams

KEEP on deskto - Stream flow code graph

An overall look at Virginia streamflow conditions is provided in the USGS WaterWatch summary plot of average streamflow conditions. Below is the summary plot for 87 Virginia sites during the 45-day period ending January 31, 2016, accessed at http://waterwatch.usgs.gov/index.php?id=pa07d&sid=w__plot&r=va on 2/1/16.

Streams graph Jan31
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).

Drought Watch icon by George Wills
DROUGHT IN VIRGINIA

The weekly National Drought Monitor map from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/) for January 26, 2015, showed Virginia as drought-free. 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:
12/29/15 – 0.01% abnormally dry;
12/1/15 – 0.01% abnormally dry;
10/27/15 – 0.01% abnormally dry;
1/27/15 – 10.4% abnormally dry.

The Virginia Drought Monitoring Task Force, a collaboration of state and federal agencies, issued its most recent Drought Status Report on December 14, 2015. 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 Task Force’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 Drought Monitoring Task Force also produces a daily map rating drought-status indicators. Shown below is daily map for February 1, 2016. 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.” Any given day’s current map and more information on drought status in Virginia are available the Task Force Web site listed above.
Drought VA Feb 1

DROUGHT ELSEWHERE

The January 26, 2016, U.S. Drought Monitor rated 25.3% of the United States (including all or parts of 33 states, plus Puerto Rico) as being abnormally dry or worse; this is the lowest nationwide percentage of abnormally dry-or-worse conditions since the week of August 3, 2010. The Drought Monitor rated 7.1% of the country (including all or parts of 6 states, plus Puerto Rico), as being in severe drought or worse (categories D2, D3, and D4); this the lowest nationwide percentage of severe-or-worse drought since the week of January 18, 2011.

The nationwide percentages for abnormally dry or worse (D0-D4) and severe or worse (D2-D4) in the previous three months and one year ago were as follows:
12/29/15 – 29.4% abnormally dry or worse; 9.7% severe drought or worse;
12/1/15 – 32.4% abnormally dry or worse; 12.3% severe drought or worse;
10/27/15 – 48.7% abnormally dry or worse; 14.4% severe drought or worse;
1/27/15 – 43.4% abnormally dry or worse; 14.1% severe drought or worse.

In California, over 86% of the state was categorized by the 1/26/16 report as being in severe-or-worse drought, with 64% in extreme or exceptional drought. The Golden State has had over 80% of its area categorized in severe-or-worse drought every week since June 25, 2013; over 90% in those categories from February 2014 to mid-December 2015; and 100% from May 13—July 29, 2014. California’s current drought began in late 2011 to early 2012.  Following are some comments from the 1/26/16 Drought Monitor on modest improvements in California from that state’s severe, multi-year, drought:

“There are finally some signs that some modest dents in the armor of the multi-year drought in California are appearing. …[C]ontinued recovery in soil moisture, long-term average streamflow, well above normal snow water content (150-180% of normal), and a trend up in reservoir levels has led to some slight improvement in the water supply situation and to the long-term drought in northern California….In what must seem like a broken record…we must stress that this doesn’t mean the region is out of drought, as many of the larger reservoirs in northern California and southern Oregon are still below half of capacity. …Relative to last year, though, the trend is going in the right direction for now with a good chunk of the snow season still left to play out over the next two months.”

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 February 1, 2016.

Drought outlook nationwide

 

 

Flint, Michigan, Drinking-water Crisis Information Sources, Including Virginia Tech Research Team

As of January 2016, the Flint, Michigan, drinking-water crisis continued to require extraordinary measures for providing safe water and to create management and public relations challenges for local and state officials.   As recently as January 19, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s annual State of the State speech was largely devoted to the Flint situation. The problem began in 2014 when the city changed its source of water and began providing water that turned out to be highly corrosive, leaching lead from plumbing into household water.

A team of researchers from Virginia Tech continues to work on and report about the situation, and their work has played a significant role in bringing to light drinking water contamination in Flint.  Information about the Virginia Tech team’s work, along with a list of related news articles and other resources, is available online at http://flintwaterstudy.org/; the contact e-mail is flintwaterstudy@gmail.com; see also Persistent Virginia Tech researchers exposed problems with Flint water, Roanoke Times, 1/28/16; Virginia Tech Researchers Fought for Flint in Water Crisis, Roanoke Times, 1/23/16.

For an overview of the current situation, its history, and its public-health impacts, see Toxic water crisis poisons public trust in Flint, PBS NewsHour, 1/20/16 (11 min/12 sec. video, with online transcript).

Following are some other sources of information about the Flint situation:

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “Flint Drinking Water Documents,” online at http://www.epa.gov/mi/flint-drinking-water-documents.

State of Michigan, “Taking Action on Flint Water,” online at http://www.michigan.gov/flintwater.

Detroit Free Press articles on Flint water, online at http://www.freep.com/search/Flint%20Water/.

Water Resources Issues for Native Americans Explored in July 2015 Isssue of Water Resources Impact

“First Peoples and Water” is the theme of the July 2015 issue of Water Resoures Impact, the newsletter of the American Water Resources Association (AWRA), which is headquartered in Middleburg, Va.  The articles discuss the special issues of water history, rights, and use by Native American tribes and on lands owned by those tribes.  The articles focus more on issues in the western United States, but they nevertheless provide interesting and valuable background relevant to tribes throughout the country.

The publication is available online at http://www.awra.org/impact/, or contact AWRA at P.O. Box 1626, Middleburg, VA 20118-1626; (540) 687-8390; or info@awra.org.

Virginia Water Status Report as of the End of December 2015, 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 December 2015. 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: Please see this link: https://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/?s=Water+Status.

Precipitation Icon by George Wills

Here are National Weather Service (NWS) preliminary (still needing verification) precipitation totals for December 2015 at 11 Virginia or near-Virginia locations, along with the normal 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 normal annual precipitation for each location. All values are in inches.

Location December 2015
Precipitation

 

Normal for Month Jan. 2015-Dec. 2015 Precipitation

 

Normal Annual Precipitation
Blacksburg 5.02 2.95 49.00 40.89

 

Bluefield1

 

3.83 2.91 42.00 39.63
Bristol2

 

5.27 3.37 44.57 41.01
Charlottesville3

 

3.83 3.15 46.76 42.71
Danville

 

5.56 3.27 52.04 44.41
Lynchburg

 

4.97 3.24 45.30 41.57
Norfolk

 

3.37 3.26 49.64 46.53
Richmond

 

5.94 3.26 49.21 43.60
Roanoke

 

4.55 2.94 54.56 41.25
Wallops Island4

 

4.28 3.43 45.94 40.84
Washington-Dulles Airport5 3.76 2.96 39.38 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 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 Southeast Regional Climate Center (Chapel Hill, N.C) at http://www.sercc.com/climateinfo/precip_maps, where you can find maps of total precipitation and percent of normal precipitation for the past 7, 30, 60, or 90 days; 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 Southeast Regional Climate Center’s preliminary maps of the percent-of-normal precipitation for the previous 30 days, 60 days, and 90 days, through December 31, 2015. [Please note that the scale is different for the 30-day map.]

30dPNormSERCC60dPNormSERCC90dPNormSERCC

Stream flow icon by George Wills

According to the U.S. Geological Survey WaterWatch for Virginia (online at http://waterwatch.usgs.gov/index.php?m=mv01d&r=va&w=map), monthly average stream flow values for December 2015 at 151 stream gages in Virginia and just beyond the state border were in the normal range at 23% of gages, below normal at 1%, above normal at 38%, and much above normal at 38%. The color-coded, flow-percentile map for this period is shown below. The color codes/percentile classes used by USGS to compared flows to historical records for the month are shown in the chart below the map.

Streams DecemberKEEP on deskto - Stream flow code graph

An overall look at Virginia streamflow conditions is provided in the USGS WaterWatch summary plot of average streamflow conditions. Below is the summary plot for 87 Virginia sites during the 45-day period ending December 31, 2015, accessed at http://waterwatch.usgs.gov/index.php?id=pa07d&sid=w__plot&r=va on 1/1/16.

Va stream flow 45 days as of 12-31

 

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).

Drought Watch icon by George Wills

DROUGHT IN VIRGINIA

The weekly National Drought Monitor map from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/) for December 29, 2015, showed Virginia as essentially drought-free, with only 0.01 percent of the state rated as 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:
12/1/15 – 0.01% abnormally dry;
10/27/15 – 0.01% abnormally dry;
9/29/15 – 39% abnormally dry;
12/30/14 – 16% abnormally dry.

The Virginia Drought Monitoring Task Force, a collaboration of state and federal agencies, issued its most recent Drought Status Report on December 14, 2015. 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 Task Force’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 Drought Monitoring Task Force also produces a daily map rating drought-status indicators. Shown below is daily map for January 1, 2016. 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.” Any given day’s current map and more information on drought status in Virginia are available the Task Force Web site listed above.

Va Drought Jan 1

DROUGHT ELSEWHERE

The December 29, 2015, U.S. Drought Monitor rated 29.4% of the United States (including all or parts of 37 states, plus Puerto Rico) as being abnormally dry or worse. It rated 9.7% of the country (including all or parts of 9 states, plus Puerto Rico), as being in severe drought or worse (categories D2, D3, and D4; the highest percentage in these categories reported by the Drought Monitor since it began in 2000 was 38.5% of the country during the week of August 7, 2012).

The nationwide percentages for abnormally dry or worse (D0-D4) and severe or worse (D2-D4) in the previous three months and one year ago were as follows:
12/1/15 – 32.4% abnormally dry or worse; 12.3% severe drought or worse;
10/27/15 – 48.7% abnormally dry or worse; 14.4% severe drought or worse;
9/29/15 – 53.0% abnormally dry or worse; 16.8% severe drought or worse;
12/30/14 – 39.2% abnormally dry or worse; 14.1% severe drought or worse.

In the following states, over 50% of the state was categorized by the 12/29/15 report as being in severe-or-worse drought.

California – 88% (with 69% in extreme or exceptional drought). This is the lowest percentage of severe-or-worse drought in California since December 2013. The Golden State has had over 80% of its area categorized in severe-or-worse drought every week since June 25, 2013; over 90% in those categories from February 2014 to mid-December 2015; and 100% from May 13—July 29, 2014. California’s current drought began in late 2011 to early 2012.

Nevada – 65% (with 32% in extreme or exceptional drought). Nevada has had over 50% of its area in severe-or-worse drought since the week of March 27, 2012.

Oregon – 65% (with 61% in extreme drought). Oregon had 100% of its area categorized in severe-or-worse drought from the week of July 28, 2015, through the week of October 27, 2015.

Following are some comments from the 12/29/15 Drought Monitor on some notable conditions or events in various parts of the country, particularly as a result of a large storm system that affected much of the country during the week of December 23-29, 2015.

Nationwide
“A large complex storm system produced copious amounts of precipitation in the Central and Southern US during this….week. The seasonably cold air behind the system mixed with the unseasonably warm, moist air that was entrenched across the east. This produced an unstable air mass kicking off heavy rains, thunderstorms, blizzards, tornadoes and historic flooding. …The 7-day precipitation totals amounted to 800 percent of normal or greater for a large swath stretching from eastern Oklahoma, northwest Arkansas, much of Missouri, and Illinois. Portions of Alabama and Georgia also recorded far greater than normal precipitation amounts. …Average temperature departures were in the range of 20-25 degrees above normal for the…week. Temperature anomalies were as much as 20 degrees below normal in the western third of the country. The following is a list of preliminary daily and monthly temperature data records that were tied or broken during the period from December 23 – 29: 1926 highest daily maximum temperatures; 2019 highest daily minimum temperatures [including 64 degrees F at Danville, Va., 18 degrees above the previous daily record minimum for that date]; 59 highest monthly maximum temperatures; 240 highest monthly minimum temperatures.”

 Central
“As the storm moved northeastward, a mixture of rain and blizzard like conditions affected the Central region. Heaviest rain amounts were in Missouri and Illinois where much of the area received at least 5 inches or more. Historic flooding was a concern along the banks of the Mississippi. In St Louis, the river was expected to crest at 44.8 feet – its second highest level ever recorded – only behind the great flood of 1993.”

South
“The massive storm system brought heavy snows in New Mexico and West Texas. According to storm reports, snow totals topped out at 41” in New Mexico and 24” in Texas. Severe weather affected East Texas dumping in excess of 10 inches of rain in the region. Violent tornadoes, some rated as high as EF4, caused extensive damage and loss of life.Oklahoma bore the brunt of the precipitation where the eastern portion of the state received as much as 11 inches of rain in a 3-day period. For some areas, the wet December bolstered the annual totals, topping the wettest calendar year on record for the state of Oklahoma.”

West
The relentless flow of moisture has benefited the drought stricken areas of the Northwest and West Coast. …For December, precipitation in northwest California was 150-300 percent of normal. …[W]hile the improvements along the coast are evident, they have not been seen inland, yet. Further south, the recent storms have dried out as they moved south into the Monterey [California] area. …In Los Angeles, much like Monterey, all precipitation locations are below normal for the current water year as nearly all of the storm systems have weakened as they approach the area. Reservoirs in San Diego remained unchanged as most of the recent rains soaked into the ground. In Sacramento recent storms have helped with local precipitation totals, and are finally beginning to generate runoff, but not enough to warrant changes in the drought status.”

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 January 1, 2016.

Drought outlook map avail as of 1-1-16

Rural Water Project Funding Available for Several Virginia Localities from Southeast Rural Community Assistance Project in December 2015

On December 23, 2015, the Southeast Rural Community Assistance Project (SERCAP), headquartered in Roanoke, Va., announced that has funds available in Virginia for water projects in Caroline County, Clarke County, Floyd County, Frederick County, Montgomery County, Prince Edward County, Suffolk County, and Wythe County.  The funds can be used for various water projects, including failed or non-existing septic problems, well water, and plumbing.

For more information, contact Angela Whitfield, SERCAP Program Assistant, at awhitfield@sercap.org or (540) 345-1184, ext. 127.  SERCAP’s Web site is http://www.sercap.org/.