Category Archives: Weather

Abnormally Dry Conditions Across Almost All of Virginia, Plus Moderate Drought in Parts of the Commonwealth, Shown in April 26, 2016, U.S. Drought Monitor Map; First Areas of Moderate Drought Since Drought Monitor of Jul. 15, 2014

The April 26, 2016, U.S. Drought Monitor rated about over 95 percent of Virginia (everywhere except the southeastern corner) as being “abnormally dry.”  The Drought Monitor categorized about four percent of the Commonwealth (on the  northwestern and southwestern borders) as being in “moderate drought”; this was the first Drought Monitor designation of moderate drought in Virginia since the week of July 15, 2014.

The Drought Monitor is issued weekly by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln; it’s available online at http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/.  The authors note that the assessment “focuses on broad-scale conditions, and local conditions may vary….”  The Drought Monitor’s categories, from mildest to most severe, are as follows:
D0 = Abnormally Dry;
D1 = Moderate Drought;
D2 = Severe Drought;
D3 = Extreme Drought;
D4 = Exceptional Drought.

The current Virginia drought map and a link to archived maps are available at http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/Home/StateDroughtMonitor.aspx?VA.  The archive of weekly category ratings for Virginia is available at http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/MapsAndData/DataTables.aspx.

For more on drought status in Virginia: The Virginia Drought Monitoring Task Force, a collaboration of state and federal agencies, issued its most recent Drought Status Report on March 15, 2016, and the group is scheduled to meet again on May 12, 2016.  The status reports and other information are available online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WaterSupplyWaterQuantity/Drought.aspx.  Information is typically provided by 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 April 28, 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.

imagemap_status.1

For monthly water-status reports for Virginia, including updates on drought, please see this Water Central News Grouper link: https://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/?s=Virginia+Water+Status.

Virginia Precipitation and Stream Flow for the 7-day Period Ending April 26, 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 April 26, 2016 (information available as of April 27, 2016).  The Virginia Water Resources Research Center thanks the agencies mentioned below for providing precipitation and stream-flow information and images. For the current month’s other weekly reports on stream flow and precipitation, please see the News Grouper posts available at this link: https://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/?s=Virginia+Precipitation.  For monthly reviews of precipitation, stream flow, and drought, please see the posts available at this link: https://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/?s=Monthly+Water+Status.  For more information on current and historical surface-water and groundwater conditions in Virginia, please see the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Virginia Science Center’s Web site, http://va.water.usgs.gov/.

USED GR4-13-16 Notice Sign New River at Ivanhoe Feb22 2014 April 2016 gaging station photo of the month:  Information on the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) streamflow-gaging station on the New River at Ivanhoe, Va., (Wythe County),  February 22, 2014.

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 26, 2016.  The maps were accessed from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Southeast Regional Climate Center, located at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill; online at http://www.sercc.com/climateinfo/precip_maps.  As of 4/27/16, these data were provisional (needing to be verified for accuracy and subject to possible revision).

PrecipApr26PrecippercApr26

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

Seven-day-average Virginia stream flows at different gaging stations as of April 26, 2016, are indicated in the map below, from the U.S. Geological Survey WaterWatch for Virginia, accessed online at http://waterwatch.usgs.gov/index.php?m=pa07d&r=va&w=map.  The map’s color-coded dots compare the previous week’s average stream flows to the normal flow levels for that week over the historical record for each gaging station.  The color codes/percentile classes used by USGS are as shown in the chart following the map.
Streams Apr26KEEP on deskto - Stream flow code graph

Virginia Precipitation and Stream Flow for the 7-day Period Ending April 19, 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 April 119, 2016 (information available as of April 13, 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 GR4-13-16 Notice Sign New River at Ivanhoe Feb22 2014Information on U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) streamflow-gaging station on the New River at Ivanhoe, Va., (Wythe County),  February 22, 2014.

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 19, 2016.  The maps were accessed from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Southeast Regional Climate Center, located at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill; online at http://www.sercc.com/climateinfo/precip_maps.  As of that date, these data were provisional (needing to be verified for accuracy and subject to possible revision).

precip apr19precippercApr19

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 flows at different gaging stations over the seven-day period ending April 19, 2016, are indicated in the map below, from the U.S. Geological Survey WaterWatch for Virginia, accessed online at http://waterwatch.usgs.gov/index.php?m=pa07d&r=va&w=map on 4/20/16.  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 Apr19
KEEP on deskto - Stream flow code graph

 

 

 

Abnormally Dry Conditions in Southwestern Virginia Shown in April 12, 2016, U.S. Drought Monitor Map; First Substantial Area of Abnormally Dry Rating in Va. since Sept. 2015

The April 12, 2016, U.S. Drought Monitor rated about nine percent of Virginia as being “abnormally dry.”  The abnormally dry area covered all or parts of 10 southwestern counties.  This was the first time since the Sept. 29, 2015, report that the Drought Monitor had rated more than 0.01% of Virginia as being abnormally dry.  The Drought Monitor is issued weekly by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln; it’s available online at http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/.

The Drought Monitor notes that it “focuses on broad-scale conditions, and local conditions may vary….”  The Drought Monitor’s categories, from mildest to most severe, are as follows:
D0 = Abnormally Dry;
D1 = Moderate Drought;
D2 = Severe Drought;
D3 = Extreme Drought;
D4 = Exceptional Drought.

The current Virginia drought map and a link to archived maps are available at http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/Home/StateDroughtMonitor.aspx?VA.  The archive of weekly category ratings for Virginia is available at http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/MapsAndData/DataTables.aspx.

For more on drought status in Virginia: The Virginia Drought Monitoring Task Force, a collaboration of state and federal agencies, issued its most recent Drought Status Report on March 15, 2016, and expects to issue its next report in May 2016.  The status reports and other information are available online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WaterSupplyWaterQuantity/Drought.aspx.  Information is typically provided by 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 April 18, 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

For monthly water-status reports for Virginia, including updates on drought, please see this Water Central News Grouper link: https://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/?s=Virginia+Water+Status.

On Virginia Water Radio for 4-18-16: Student Research into Soils, Rainfall, and Greenhouse Gases

Virginia Water Radio’s latest episode, for the week of April 18, 2016, is “Student’s Research Digs into Streamside Soils, Rainfall Rates, and Greenhouse Gases.”  The 4 min./52 sec. episode, available online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/2016/04/episode-312-4-18-16-students-research.html, focuses on research  into how climate-influenced changes in rainfall intensity may affect greenhouse gases in streamside soils.

Photo 4 Picarro screen Apr13 2016Model display of spectrometer used to analyze samples for greenhouse gases emissions in Virginia Tech Department of Biological Systems Engineering’s Water Quality lab; shown here on Apr. 13, 2016.

Virginia Water Radio’s is a weekly broadcast/podcast produced by the Virginia Water Resources Research Center.  The home page is http://www.virginiawaterradio.org.  Have a listen or two!

Virginia Precipitation and Stream Flow for the 7-day Period Ending April 12, 2016, 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 12, 2016 (information available as of April 13, 2016).  Also below is the Virginia Drought Monitoring Task Force’s daily map showing the status of several drought indicators in different Virginia regions, as of April 13.  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 GR4-13-16 Notice Sign New River at Ivanhoe Feb22 2014Information on a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) streamflow-gaging station on the New River at Ivanhoe, Va., (Wythe County),  February 22, 2014.

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 12, 2016.  The maps were accessed from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Southeast Regional Climate Center, located at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill; online at http://www.sercc.com/climateinfo/precip_maps.  As of that date, these data were provisional (needing to be verified for accuracy and subject to possible revision).

precip Apr12

precippercApr12

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 April 12, 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 4/13/16.  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 Apr 12
KEEP on deskto - Stream flow code graph

Mid-month Drought Status Update

The Virginia Drought Monitoring Task Force (DMTF), a collaboration of state and federal agencies, issued its latest Virginia drought-status report on March 15, 2016.  The report is available at the DMTF Web site, http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WaterSupplyWaterQuantity/Drought.aspx.

The DMTF also produces a daily map rating drought-status indicators.  Shown below is the April 13, 2016, 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 Apr13

Virginia Precipitation and Stream Flow for the 7-day Period Ending April 5, 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 April 5, 2016 (information available as of April 6, 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 GR4-5-16 Apr12 North Fork Catoctin Creek at Rt 681 near Waterford Jun25 2010U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) streamflow-gaging station on North Fork Catoctin Creek near Waterford, Va. (Loudoun County), June 25, 2010.

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 3, 2016 (data for April 4-5, 2016, were not available as of 4/6/16).  The maps were accessed from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Southeast Regional Climate Center, located at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill; online at http://www.sercc.com/climateinfo/precip_maps.  As of that date, these data were provisional (needing to be verified for accuracy and subject to possible revision).

precipApr3

precippercApr3

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 April 5, 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 4/6/16.  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 Apr5

KEEP on deskto - Stream flow code graph