Category Archives: Weather

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

Precipitation Icon by George Wills

Here are National Weather Service (NWS) preliminary (still needing verification) precipitation totals for April 2015 at 11 Virginia or near-Virginia locations, along with the normal for this month of the year. Also shown are the precipitation for the previous 12 months and the normal annual precipitation for each location. All values are in inches, rounded to the nearest 0.1 inch from NWS values.

Location
April 2015
Precipitation

 

Normal
for April
May 2014- April 2015 Precipitation

 

Normal Annual Precipitation
Blacksburg 5.3 3.5 40.4 40.9
Bluefield (Merc. Co. airport, near Va.-W.Va. state line) 5.3 3.3 42.4 39.6
Bristol (Tri-Cities Airport in Tenn., about 20 miles from Bristol, Va.-Tenn.) 5.0 3.3 42.5 41.0
Charlottesville (Char.-Albemarle Airport) 4.7 3.4 36.1 42.7
Danville 2.9 3.5 37.8 44.4
Lynchburg 4.1 3.3 40.8 41.6
Norfolk 4.6 3.4 48.8 46.5
Richmond 5.3 3.3 38.5 43.6
Roanoke 5.0 3.4 39.4 41.3
Wallops Island (Accomack County) 3.8 3.1 40.3 40.8
Washington-Dulles Airport (Loudoun County) 2.5 3.5 39.5 41.5

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 provisional (still needing verification) maps of the percent-of-normal precipitation for the previous 30 days, 60 days, and 90 days, through April 30, 2015. Please note that the scale is different for the 30-day map.

Precip 30 day Apr 30 Precip 60 day Apr 30 Precip 90 day Apr 30

 

Stream flow icon by George Wills
According to the U.S. Geological Survey WaterWatch for Virginia, average stream flow values for April 2015 at 152 stream gages in Virginia and just beyond the state border were in the normal range at about 52 percent of gages, below normal at about 3 percent, above normal at about 45 percent (with much-above-normal readings for the month a few gages in western Virginia). 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 VA AprilKEEP on deskto - Stream flow code graph 

 Drought Watch icon by George WillsDROUGHT IN VIRGINIA

The weekly National Drought Monitor map from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/) for April 28, 2015, showed Virginia as drought-free, which has been the since the Drought Monitor report for April 21, 2015. Before that, some area of Virginia had been categorized as at least “abnormally dry” since the Drought Monitor report for April 22, 2014.

The Drought Monitor notes that it “focuses on broad-scale conditions [and] local conditions may vary.” The Drought Monitor categories are as follows:
D0 = abnormally dry;
D1 = moderate drought;
D2 = severe drought;
D3 = extreme drought;
D4 = exceptional drought.

For comparison, here are Virginia ratings from previous Drought Monitors from about one month, two months, three months, and one year ago:
3/31/15 – 14 percent abnormally dry;
3/3/15 – 31 percent abnormally dry;
1/27/15 – 10 percent abnormally dry;
4/29/14 – 0.1 percent abnormally dry.

The Virginia Drought Monitoring Task Force, a collaboration of state and federal agencies, issued its most recent Drought Status Report on March 17, 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 next report is scheduled for May 2015. 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 the May 1, 2015, map. 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 Map May 1

DROUGHT ELSEWHERE

The April 28, 2015, U.S. Drought Monitor rated 48.5 percent of the United States (including all or parts of 39 states) as being abnormally dry or worse, and it rated 16.7 percent of the country (including all or parts of 15 states), as being in severe drought or worse (categories D2, D3, and D4). (On August 7, 2012, 38.5 percent of the country was in the three worst categories; that was the highest percentage in these categories reported by the Drought Monitor since it began in 2000.)

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:
3/31/15 – 54.0 percent abnormally dry or worse; 16.0 percent severe drought or worse;
3/3/15 – 49.4 percent abnormally dry or worse; 13.1 percent severe drought or worse;
1/27/15 – 43.4 percent abnormally dry or worse; 14.1 percent severe drought or worse;
4/29/14 – 41.3 percent abnormally dry or worse; 22.4 percent severe drought or worse;

In the following states, over 50 percent of the state was categorized by the April 28 report as being in severe-or-worse drought:

California – 93% (with 67% in extreme or exceptional drought; California has had over 90 percent of its area categorized in severe-or-worse drought every week since February 11, 2014, and the Golden State had 100 percent in those categories from May 13—July 29, 2014);

Nevada – 87% (with 49% in extreme or exceptional drought);

Oregon – 63% (with 34% in extreme drought).

For a look ahead, the National Weather Service/Climate Prediction Center’s “U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook” for the next 90 days is available at http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/expert_assessment/sdo_summary.html. Shown below is the outlook map available on May 1, 2015.

Drought US outlook as of May 1

PREVIOUS MONTHLY WATER-STATUS REPORTS

Please see this link: https://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/?s=Water+Status.

Virginia Precipitation and Stream Flow for the 7-day Period Ending April 21, 2015

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 April 21, 2015.  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/.

Precipitation

The following maps show southeastern U.S. precipitation amounts (top map) and the percent of normal precipitation for the given location at this time of year (bottom map) over the seven-day period ending April 21, 2015.  The maps were accessed on April 22, 2015, 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 Apr 21Precip perc Apr 21

For another precipitation-information source:
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.  Shown below is the map of seven-day precipitation ending at 8 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time on April 22, 2015.  (Please note that UTC, the time shown on the map below, is five hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time and four hours ahead of Eastern Daylight Time.)

Precip US Apr 22

Stream Flow

Average Virginia stream flow over week ending April 21, 2015, is indicated in the map below, from the U.S. Geological Survey WaterWatch for Virginia (online at http://waterwatch.usgs.gov/classic.php?m=pa07d&r=va&w=mv01d%2Cmap, accessed 4/22/15).  The map compares the previous week’s average stream flows—at 137 stream-gaging stations in Virginia and just beyond the state border—to the normal flow levels for that week over the historical record for each gaging station.  The color codes/percentile classes used by USGS to compare flows to historical records are as shown in the following chart (the higher the percentile and the “bluer” the color, the higher the flow relative to normal for the site and time of year).

KEEP on deskto - Stream flow code graphStreams Apr 21

Severe Weather Forecast, Warning, and Report Links for Virginia and Elsewhere, as of April 20, 2015

Here are several useful links for following severe weather, ongoing and predicted severe thunderstorms, high winds, and possible tornadoes in parts of Virginia and other middle Atlantic states.

National warnings and forecasts (National Weather Service)

Storm forecasts, reports, and other tools (see below for example map, from April 19, 2015), from National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center

Warnings and forecasts for Virginia, from National Weather Service forecast offices serving the following areas:
Northern Virginia
Southwestern Virginia
Far southwestern Virginia
Eastern Virginia

NOAA’s Chesapeake Bay Interpretive Buoy System, for real-time weather and water observations from buoys on the Chesapeake Bay.

Storm Reports Apr 19

Virginia Precipitation and Stream Flow for the 7-day Period Ending April 14, 2015, Plus a Mid-Month Drought Assessment

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 April 14, 2015. Also below is a map showing the status of several drought indicators in different Virginia regions, as of April 15. 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/.

Precipitation

The following maps show southeastern U.S. precipitation amounts (top map) and the percent of normal precipitation for the given location at this time of year (bottom map) over the seven-day period ending April 14, 2015. The maps were accessed on April 15, 2015, 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 Apr 14Precip Perc Apr 14

For another precipitation-information source: 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. Shown below is the map of seven-day precipitation ending at 8 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time on April 15, 2015. (Please note that UTC, the time shown on the map below, is five hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time and four hours ahead of Eastern Daylight Time.)

Precip national

Stream Flow

Average Virginia stream flow over week ending April 14, 2015, is indicated in the map below, from the U.S. Geological Survey WaterWatch for Virginia (online at http://waterwatch.usgs.gov/classic.php?m=pa07d&r=va&w=mv01d%2Cmap, accessed 4/15/15). The map compares the previous week’s average stream flows—at about 140 stream-gaging stations in Virginia and just beyond the state border—to the normal flow levels for that week over the historical record for each gaging station. The color codes/percentile classes used by USGS to compare flows to historical records are as shown in the following chart (the higher the percentile and the “bluer” the color, the higher the flow relative to normal for the site and time of year).

KEEP on deskto - Stream flow code graphStreams Apr 14

Mid-month Drought Status Update

The Virginia Drought Monitoring Task Force, a collaboration of state and federal agencies, produces a daily map rating drought-status indicators. Shown below is the April 15, 2015, map. 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, http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WaterSupplyWaterQuantity/Drought.aspx.

Drought Va Apr 15

Flooding and Stream Flow Status Maps from National Weather Service and U.S. Geological Survey; Online Links as of April 14, 2015

A national map of the flooding status at stream and river gages is available from the National Weather Service/Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service, online at http://water.weather.gov/ahps/.  The gage locations are color coded from “no flooding” (below flood stage) to “major flooding.”  From the national map, one can zoom in to see a particular state or locality, and you can click on individual gage markers to get detailed information.

Maps of stream and river levels compared to historical records are available from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), online at http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/rt.  Gaging station locations across the country on these maps are color-coded to indicate how current flows compare to historical normal values at a given gage location.  You can see the comparison for current (real-time) flows or for flows averaged over various recent periods, ranging from the previous day to the previous month.  The real-time Virginia map is available online at  http://waterwatch.usgs.gov/?m=real&r=va.

The USGS stream/river levels map also allows users to access more detailed information for individual gage locations.  An April 14, 2015, example from Virginia is shown below.

gage graph

Virginia Precipitation and Stream Flow for the 7-day Period Ending April 7, 2015

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 April 7, 2015.  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/.

Precipitation

The following maps show southeastern U.S. precipitation amounts (top map) and the percent of normal precipitation for the given location at this time of year (bottom map) over the seven-day period ending April 7, 2015.  The maps were accessed on April 8, 2015, 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 Apr 7Precip perc Apr 7

For another precipitation-information source: 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. Shown below is the map of seven-day precipitation ending at 8 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time on April 8, 2015. (Please note that UTC, the time shown on the map below, is five hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time and four hours ahead of Eastern Daylight Time.)

Precip national Apr 8

Stream Flow

Average Virginia stream flow over week ending April 7, 2015, is indicated in the map below, from the U.S. Geological Survey WaterWatch for Virginia (online at http://waterwatch.usgs.gov/classic.php?m=pa07d&r=va&w=mv01d%2Cmap, accessed 4/8/15).  The map compares the previous week’s average stream flows at 139 stream-gaging stations in Virginia and just beyond the state border to the normal flow levels for that week over the historical record for each gaging station.  The color codes/percentile classes used by USGS to compare flows to historical records are as shown in the following chart (the higher the percentile and the “bluer” the color, the higher the flow relative to normal for the site and time of year).
KEEP on deskto - Stream flow code graphStreams Apr 7

Virginia Water Status Report as of the End of March 2015, Plus a Look at Drought Nationally

Here is the Virginia Water Central News Grouper’s monthly water-status report, as of the end of March 2015. The Virginia Water Resources Research Center thanks the agencies mentioned below for providing the data and maps used in this post.

PRECIPITATION

Here are National Weather Service (NWS) preliminary precipitation totals for March 2015 at 11 Virginia or near-Virginia locations, along with the normal for this month of the year.  All values are in inches, rounded to the nearest 0.1 inch from NWS values:

Location March 2015

Precipitation

(inches)

(preliminary)

Normal for Month (inches)
Blacksburg 4.6 3.6
Bluefield (Merc. Co. airport, near Va.-W.Va. state line) 5.1 3.5
Bristol (Tri-Cities Airport in Tenn., about 20 miles from Bristol, Va.-Tenn.) 3.9 3.4
Charlottesville (Char.-Albemarle Airport) 3.5 3.7
Danville 2.1 4.1
Lynchburg 3.3 3.6
Norfolk 2.7 3.7
Richmond 3.8 4.0
Roanoke 4.3 3.5
Wallops Island (Accomack County) 3.4 4.0
Washington-Dulles Airport (Loudoun County) 3.9 3.4

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 provisional (still needing verification) maps of the percent-of-normal precipitation for the previous 30 days, 60 days, and 90 days, through February 28, 2015. Please note that the scale is different for the 90-day map.

Precip Perc 30 daysPrecip Perc 60 daysPrecip perc 90 days


STREAM FLOW

According to the U.S. Geological Survey WaterWatch for Virginia, average stream flow values for March 2015 at 150 stream gages in Virginia and just beyond the state border were in the normal range at about 61 percent of gages, below normal at about 9 percent, and above normal at about 30 percent (with much-above-normal readings for the month at several gages, particularly in far southwestern Virginia). 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 as follows:

KEEP on deskto - Stream flow code graphStreams March

DROUGHT IN VIRGINIA
The weekly National Drought Monitor map from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/) for March 31, 2015, categorized about 14 percent of Virginia as being abnormally dry. That area included a small part of upper James River basin, most of Roanoke River basin, and some of the upper New River basin.

The Drought Monitor notes that it “focuses on broad-scale conditions [and] local conditions may vary.” The Drought Monitor categories are as follows:
D0 = abnormally dry;
D1 = moderate drought;
D2 = severe drought;
D3 = extreme drought;
D4 = exceptional drought.

For comparison, here are Virginia ratings from previous Drought Monitors from about one month, two months, three months, and one year ago:
3/3/15 – 31 percent abnormally dry;
1/27/15 – 10 percent abnormally dry;
12/30/14 – 16 percent abnormally dry;
4/1/15 – drought-free.

The Virginia Drought Monitoring Task Force, a collaboration of state and federal agencies, issued its most recent Drought Status Report on March 17, 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 groundwater levels (GW), precipitation deficits (Prcp), reservoir storage (Res), and stream flow (Flow) conditions across the Commonwealth. In each area, a color code indicates “normal,” “watch,” “warning,” or “emergency conditions.” The April 1, 2015, map is shown below. The current map and more information on the ratings are available at the Task Force Web site listed above.
Drought VA Apr 1

DROUGHT ELSEWHERE

The March 31, 2015, U.S. Drought Monitor rated 54.0 percent of the United States (including all or parts of 41 states) as being abnormally dry or worse, and it rated 13.1 percent of the country (including all or parts of 12 states), as being in severe drought or worse (categories D2, D3, and D4). (On August 7, 2012, 38.5 percent of the country was in the three worst categories; that was the highest percentage in these categories reported by the Drought Monitor since it began in 2000.)

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:
3/3/15 – 49.4 percent abnormally dry or worse; 13.1 percent severe drought or worse;
1/27/15 – 43.4 percent abnormally dry or worse; 14.1 percent severe drought or worse;
12/30/14 – 39.2 percent abnormally dry or worse; 14.1 percent severe drought or worse;
4/1/14 – 44.7 percent abnormally dry or worse; 20.2 percent severe drought or worse;

In the following states, over 50 percent of the state was categorized by the March 31 report as being in severe-or-worse drought:

California – 93% (with 67% in extreme or exceptional drought; California has had over 90 percent of its area categorized in severe-or-worse drought every week since February 11, 2014, and the Golden State had 100 percent in those categories from May 13—July 29, 2014);

Nevada – 80% (with 48% in extreme or exceptional drought);

Oklahoma – 51% (with 8% in extreme drought);

Utah – 52% (with 9 % in extreme drought).

Here are a few comments from the March 31 Drought Monitor on conditions in some parts of the country:

Midwest: “…Widespread pronounced precipitation deficits (15-50 percent of normal) are noted over most of the Midwest during the past 90 days, while 6-month precipitation stood at a meager 35 to 70 percent of normal from the Dakotas and parts of Nebraska into the central Great Lakes region….”

Southern Plains and Texas: “Soil moisture and streamflow rankings remained at or below the 5th percentile in the southern Plain’s core drought areas, while the satellite-derived Vegetation Health Index indicated rapidly declining conditions from the Texas Panhandle into northern Oklahoma….”

West: “The overall trend toward drought persistence continued, with drought intensification noted over the eastern Great Basin and central Rockies. The west continued to cope with much-above-normal temperatures, further depleting already-dire snowpacks and reducing spring runoff prospects over much of the region. …Plentiful water-year precipitation (since October 1) in the Northwest remained in sharp contrast to virtually non-existent snowpacks, with the snow-water equivalents less than 25 percent of normal (locally less than 10 percent) across Oregon as well as southern and northwestern Washington. The lack of snow maintained concerns for spring and summer water supplies despite the generally favorable 2014-15 water year. … In California, there were no changes to this week’s depiction as the state entered a fourth consecutive year of drought. … [A]s of April 1, the state’s total snowpack stood at a meager 5 percent of average. Indicative of the virtually non-existent snowpack, streamflows have dropped into the 5th percentile or lower over much of California. … Even with some precipitation in the forecast across central and northern California, any rain and mountain snow—while welcomed—would likely do little to improve the state’s dire drought prospects.”

And one more note on California: On April 1, 2015, California announced its first-ever mandatory water-use restrictions. Executive Order B-29-15 by Gov. Jerry Brown calls for the State Water Resources Control Board to implement water-use restrictions that will achieve a 25-percent reduction statewide in potable water use by February 28, 2016. The order does not impose restrictions on agricultural water use but requires irrigators or 10,000 acres or more to include details on supplies, demand, and drought-management actions in annual water-management plans. Here are three sources of information about the California action: California Imposes First Mandatory Water Restrictions to Deal With Drought, New York Times, 4/1/15; Gov. Jerry Brown: California has to change what’s comfortable to address drought, PBS NewsHour, 4/1/15; California State Water Resources Control Board Web site, http://www.swrcb.ca.gov/.

For a look ahead, the National Weather Service/Climate Prediction Center’s “U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook” for the next 90 days is available at http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/expert_assessment/sdo_summary.html. Shown below is the outlook map available on April 1, 2015.

Drought outlook

PREVIOUS MONTHLY WATER-STATUS REPORTS
Please see this link: https://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/?s=Water+Status.