Virginia Precipitation and Stream Flow for the 7-day Period Ending March 20, 2017, Plus an Overview of Flooding Nationwide

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 March 20, 2017 (information available as of March 21).  Also below is a national flooding overview map, as of March 21.  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/.

Gage Smith River below Philpott Dam Jan16 2017 RIVER VIEW March 2017 Gaging Station of the Month:  Smith River below Philpott Dam, Jan. 16, 2017.

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 March 20, 2017.  The maps were accessed from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Southeast Regional Climate Center, located at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill; online at http://www.sercc.com/climateinfo/precip_maps.  As of that date, these data were provisional (needing to be verified for accuracy and subject to possible revision).

precip Mar20precip perc mar 20

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 a screen shot of the continental U.S. 7-day precipitation map as of 8 a.m. EDT on 3/21/17.  Please note that UTC, the time shown on the maps at the site, is four hours ahead of Eastern Daylight Time and five hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time.

Precip US Mar21

Stream Flow

Seven-day-average Virginia stream flows at different gaging stations as of March 20, 2017 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 Mar20

stream codes

Flooding Overview Nationwide

The National Weather Service’s Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Center’s map of river levels relative to flood stage (color-coded) is available online at http://water.weather.gov/ahps/forecasts.php; shown below is a screenshot of the map available online at that site as of about 2 p.m. on 3/21/17.
Floods Mar21

On Virginia Water Radio for 3-20-17: Exploring the Smith River

Virginia Water Radio’s latest episode, for the week of March 20, 2017, is “Who Were Smith and Philpott and What Do They Have to Do with Virginia Water?”   The 4 min./29 sec. episode, available online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/2017/03/episode-360-3-20-17-who-were-smith-and.html, traces some hydrological and historical connections of southern Virginia’s Smith River, including the connection to a legendary speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates.

Smith River below Philpott Dam Jan16 2017 TWO

The Smith River just downstream of the Philpott Dam and Reservoir on the border of Franklin and Henry counties, Va., January 16, 2017.

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 Clean Water Financing Programs under the Va. Dept. of Environmental Quality, as of March 2017

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), on behalf of the State Water Control Board and with financial management by the Virginia Resources Authority, operates several water-quality financing programs under the collective term of the Virginia Clean Water Revolving Loan Fund (VCWRLF).

Previously known as the Virginia Revolving Loan Fund, the VCWRLF began in 1987 with a focus only on low-interest loans to localities for wastwater system infrastructure improvements.  As of March 2017, the VCWRLF includes not only the Wastewater Loan Program but also the the Brownfield Loan Program, the Land Conservation Loan Program, the Stormwater Loan Program, the Living Shorelines Program, and the Water Quality Improvement Fund, and the Agricultural Best Management Practices Program (suspended indefinitely).

Information about these programs is available online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/CleanWaterFinancingAssistance.aspx; or by contacting Walter A. Gills, Program Manager, Department of Environmental Quality, Clean Water Financing & Assistance Program, P.O. Box 1105, Richmond, VA  23218; phone (804) 698-4133; e-mail: Walter.Gills@deq.virginia.gov.

More information about the Virginia Resources Authority is available online at http://www.virginiaresources.org/.

Virginia General Permit for Discharges from Petroleum Contaminated Sites Under Review in 2017

The Virginia State Water Control Board and the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) are considering reissuance and possible amendments to the Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (VPDES) general permit for discharges from petroleum contaminated sites, groundwater remediation, and hydrostatic tests.  As of March 2017, meetings were being held by the DEQ’s technical advisory committee formed for this regulatory review (for example, see the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall entry for the March 24, 2017, meeting).  The relevant section of the Virginia Administrative Code is 9 VAC 25-120.  The Notice of Intended Regulatory Action (NOIRA) was published May 30, 2016.  According to the NOIRA, the “general permit covers point source discharges of wastewaters from sites contaminated by petroleum products [or by] chlorinated hydrocarbon solvents, and also the point source discharges of hydrostatic test wastewaters resulting from the testing of petroleum and natural gas storage tanks and pipelines.”

More information on the process of this regulatory action is available online at http://townhall.virginia.gov/L/ViewAction.cfm?actionid=4548.

Virginia Precipitation and Stream Flow for the 7-day Period Ending March 13, 2017

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 March 13, 2017 (information available as of March 14).  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/.

Gage Smith River below Philpott Dam Jan16 2017 RIVER VIEWMarch 2017 Gaging Station of the Month:  Smith River below Philpott Dam, Jan. 16, 2017.

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 March 13, 2017.  The maps were accessed from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Southeast Regional Climate Center, located at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill; online at http://www.sercc.com/climateinfo/precip_maps.  As of that date, these data were provisional (needing to be verified for accuracy and subject to possible revision).

precip March 13precip perc March 13

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 a screen shot of the continental U.S. 7-day precipitation map as of 8 a.m. EDT on 3/14/17.  Please note that UTC, the time shown on the maps at the site, is four hours ahead of Eastern Daylight Time and five hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time.

Precip US March 14

Stream Flow

Seven-day-average Virginia stream flows at different gaging stations as of March 13, 2017 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 Mar 13stream codes

 

“Water is Life” is the Theme of the Annual SERCAP Meeting and the Focus of the Organization’s Mission

April 19, 2017, is the date for this year’s annual “Water is Life! Luncheon and Conference” held by the Southeast Rural Community Assistance Project, Inc., or SERCAP, located in Roanoke, Va.

This year’s event marks the 48th anniversary of SERCAP, whose mission is to help provide safe and adequate water and wastewater, community development, environmental health, and economic self-sufficiency to rural citizens in seven southeastern states: Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.  SERCAP is one of six rural community assistance projects in the United States.

More information about SERCAP and the annual luncheon/conference—at the Sheraton Roanoke Hotel and Conference Center—is available online at http://www.sercap.org/, or contact SERCAP at 347 Campbell Avenue, Roanoke, VA 24016; phone (540) 345-1184.

Water for Tomorrow photo
“Water for Tomorrow,” an influential 1988 report on water and wastewater needs by locality in Virginia, was published by the Virginia Water Project, the predecessor to SERCAP.

Snowfall Prediction and Accumulation Information Sources for Virginia, Neighboring States, and Nationwide, as of March 2017

When snow is in the forecast, in the sky, or on the ground, here are some sources of information about how much to expect or how much has fallen.  Listed first are snowfall forecast sources nationwide and for Virginia; followed by snowfall accumulation sources for Virginia and neighboring states.

snow-national-bank-blacksburg-with-17-degrees-jan7-2017-about-7am-used-grouper-1-9-17

PREDICTIONS

Nationwide

The National Weather Service (NWS) “Winter Weather Forecasts” Web site is at http://www.wpc.ncep.noaa.gov/wwd/winter_wx.shtml.

Virginia
NWS snow-forecast maps and other products are available online from the NWS forecast offices serving Virginia, as follows:

Blacksburg, Va., forecast office: http://www.weather.gov/rnk/winter;

Morristown, Tenn., forecast office (serves far southwestern Virginia): http://graphical.weather.gov/sectors/mrx.php#tabs;

Sterling, Va., forecast office: http://www.weather.gov/lwx/winter (a snowfall map (for the area is available at  http://www.weather.gov/lwx/pnsmap?type=snow);

Wakefield, Va., forecast office: http://www.weather.gov/akq/winter.

ACCUMULATIONS

During and after snow events, preliminary (not official) snowfall totals (and total precipitation amounts) at many locations are available online from the Web site of the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS), online at https://www.cocorahs.org/.  CoCoRaHS describes itself as “a unique, non-profit, community-based network of volunteers of all ages and backgrounds working together to measure and map precipitation (rain, hail and snow).”

CoCoRaHS provides precipitation maps and daily precipitation reports by state.
The main link for Virginia is https://www.cocorahs.org/state.aspx?state=va.  The “Virginia Daily Precipitation Reports” link is http://www.cocorahs.org/ViewData/StateDailyPrecipReports.aspx?state=VA.

Following are the main links for states neighboring Virginia, plus the District of Columbia:
D.C.: https://www.cocorahs.org/state.aspx?state=dc.
Maryland: https://www.cocorahs.org/state.aspx?state=md.
Kentucky: https://www.cocorahs.org/state.aspx?state=ky.
North Carolina: https://www.cocorahs.org/state.aspx?state=nc.
Tennessee: https://www.cocorahs.org/state.aspx?state=tn.
West Virginia: https://www.cocorahs.org/state.aspx?state=wv.