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WINTER/SPRING FLOOD POTENTIAL OUTLOOK
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WAKEFIELD VA
417 PM EST THU JAN 22 2015


...SECOND WINTER/SPRING FLOOD POTENTIAL OUTLOOK FOR 2015...

...RIVER FLOOD POTENTIAL NEAR NORMAL THROUGH FEBRUARY 5TH...

EACH WINTER AND EARLY SPRING...THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
OFFICE IN WAKEFIELD ISSUES A SERIES OF FLOOD POTENTIAL OUTLOOKS.
THESE OUTLOOKS ESTIMATE THE POTENTIAL FOR RIVER FLOODING ACROSS
THE WAKEFIELD FORECAST OFFICE HYDROLOGIC SERVICE AREA (HSA). THE
HSA INCLUDES CENTRAL AND EASTERN VIRGINIA...LOWER MARYLAND
EASTERN SHORE AND PORTIONS OF NORTHEASTERN NORTH CAROLINA. THE
OUTLOOK IS BASED ON THE CURRENT ASSESSMENT OF HYDROMETEOROLOGICAL
FACTORS WHICH CONTRIBUTE TO RIVER FLOODING. THESE FACTORS
INCLUDE...BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO RECENT PRECIPITATION...SOIL
MOISTURE...SNOW COVER...SNOW WATER EQUIVALENT...STREAM FLOWS...
RIVER ICE...AND EXPECTED WEATHER CONDITIONS.

IN THIS PART OF THE MID-ATLANTIC REGION...HEAVY RAINFALL IS THE
PRIMARY FACTOR THAT LEADS TO RIVER FLOODING. HEAVY RAINFALL CAN
RAPIDLY CAUSE RIVER FLOODING AT ANY TIME OF THE YEAR...EVEN WHEN
OVERALL RIVER FLOOD POTENTIAL IS CONSIDERED LOW.

THE FOLLOWING IS A BRIEF SUMMARY OF CURRENT CONDITIONS:

CURRENT FLOODING - NO RIVERS ARE CURRENTLY IN FLOOD AS OF 3 PM
THURSDAY JANUARY 22ND.

RECENT PRECIPITATION - RECENT RAINFALL SINCE JANUARY 8 HAS BEEN
MOSTLY NEAR NORMAL TO MUCH ABOVE NORMAL. MOST OF THE AREA HAS
RECEIVED BETWEEN 1" - 3.5" WITH AREAS EAST OF INTERSTATE
95...INCLUDING MUCH OF THE DELMARVA PENINSULA REPORTING BETWEEN 2"
- 3.5". COMPARED TO NORMAL...THESE RAINFALL TOTALS ARE UP TO 2"
ABOVE NORMAL FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR. THE ONLY AREAS TO RECEIVE
LOWER AMOUNTS WERE PORTIONS OF THE VIRGINIA PIEDMONT WERE AMOUNTS
WERE LIMITED TO BETWEEN 0.5" - 1". THESE AMOUNTS WERE AS MUCH AS
1" BELOW NORMAL FOR THIS SAME TWO WEEK PERIOD.

WHEN LOOKING BACK AT THE LAST 30 DAY PERIOD...THE PRECIPITATION
PATTERN WAS SIMILAR WITH THE VIRGINIA PIEDMONT RECEIVING LESS
RAIN...AMOUNTS OF 1.5" - 3"...WHILE THE REMAINDER OF THE AREA
RECORDED AMOUNTS OF 3" - 6.50". THESE HIGHER AMOUNTS WERE UP TO 3"
MORE THAN NORMAL FOR THE 30 DAY PERIOD...WHILE THE PIEDMONT
CONTINUED TO SHOW DEFICITS UP TO 2" FOR THE SAME TIME PERIOD.

LOOKING BACK TO THE BEGINNING OF THE WATER YEAR...WHICH BEGINS ON
OCTOBER 1ST...MOST AREAS HAVE RECEIVED BETWEEN 10 -15 INCHES OF
RAIN WHICH ARE GENERALLY NEAR NORMAL FOR THE NEARLY 4 MONTH TIME
RANGE. THE VIRGINIA PIEDMONT AREA SAW SLIGHTLY LESS WITH SOME
REPORTS FOR THE TIME PERIOD CLOSER TO 8 INCHES...WHICH WOULD BE A
COUPLE INCH DEFICIT...BUT THOSE AREAS WERE NOT WIDESPREAD.

MEANWHILE...THE NORTHERN NECK AND MUCH OF THE DELMARVA BENEFITED FROM THE
RECENT RAIN TO GET THE 4 MONTH RAINFALL BACK TO NEAR NORMAL
LEVELS...BUT RAINFALL DEFICITS BACK TO JUNE CONTINUE TO IMPACT
GROUNDWATER CONDITIONS FOR THIS AREA. SO DESPITE THE RECENT MUCH
NEEDED RAINFALL FOR THIS PORTION OF VIRGINIA AND THE LOWER
MARYLAND EASTERN SHORE...THIS AREA IS STILL BEING DEPICTED AS
ABNORMALLY DRY IN THE US DROUGHT MONITOR. FOR FURTHER DROUGHT
INFORMATION PLEASE VISIT:

HTTP://DROUGHT.UNL.EDU/DM/MONITOR.HTML

SNOW CONDITIONS - CURRENTLY...THERE IS NO SNOW ON THE GROUND
ACROSS THE HSA.

RIVER ICE - CURRENTLY...THERE IS NO ICING ON AREA RIVERS.

STREAM FLOW CONDITIONS - VARY ACROSS THE WAKEFIELD HSA.

THE 14 DAY AVERAGE FLOWS ACROSS THE WAKEFIELD HSA RANGED FROM
BELOW NORMAL...FOR MOST OF THE RIVER GAGE LOCATIONS ACROSS THE
YORK...JAMES AND APPOMATTOX BASINS...WHILE ALL THE GAGES ACROSS
THE LOWER MARYLAND EASTERN SHORE AND MOST OF THE CHOWAN BASIN ARE
IN THE NORMAL RANGE FOR THE TIME PERIOD. HOWEVER...THE NORTH
CAROLINA PORTION OF THE CHOWAN BASIN AND ALSO ON THE CASHIE RIVER
AT WINDSOR...THE 14 DAY AVERAGE FLOWS ARE ABOVE NORMAL. THE REAL
TIME FLOWS FOR THURSDAY AFTERNOON...JANUARY 22ND...ARE SIMILAR TO
THE 14 DAY AVERAGE FLOWS...EXCEPT THAT SEVERAL GAGES ON THE
APPOMATTOX BASIN ARE MUCH BELOW NORMAL...LESS THAN THE 10TH
PERCENTILE FOR THE DAY...WHILE SEVERAL OF THE GAGES IN THE
SOUTHEASTERN CHOWAN BASIN AND READING ABOVE NORMAL
FLOWS...INCLUDING THE FORECAST POINTS OF SEBRELL AND FRANKLIN.

BELOW ARE SOME OBSERVED DAILY STREAM FLOWS WITH THE MEDIAN FLOW
FOR THE DATE...AS OF NOON THE 22ND OF JANUARY:

LOCATION OBSERVED MEDIAN/PERCENTAGE
                                                        OF MEDIAN

RIVANNA RIVER/PALMYRA VA   310CFS      613CFS/ 50.1
JAMES RIVER/CARTERSVILLE VA  3570CFS     6150CFS/ 58.0
JAMES RIVER/RICHMOND VA  3650CFS     6090CFS/ 59.9
APPOMATTOX RIVER/FARMVILLE VA   108CFS     253CFS/ 42.7
APPOMATTOX RIVER/MATTOAX VA   279CFS      684CFS/ 40.8
APPOMATTOX RIVER/MATOACA VA   574CFS            1160CFS/ 49.5
NOTTOWAY RIVER/RAWLINGS VA   130CFS      276CFS/ 47.1
NOTTOWAY RIVER/STONY CREEK VA   512CFS      523CFS/ 97.9
NOTTOWAY RIVER/SEBRELL VA  3740CFS     1470CFS/254.4
MEHERRIN RIVER/EMPORIA VA   668CFS      604CFS/110.6
BLACKWATER RIVER/FRANKLIN VA  1320CFS      760CFS/173.7
MATTAPONI RIVER/BOWLING GREEN VA  107CFS      235CFS/ 45.5
MATTAPONI RIVER/BEULAHVILLE VA   305CFS      670CFS/ 45.5
POCOMOKE RIVER/ WILLARDS MD   114CFS       80CFS/142.5
POTECASI CREEK/UNION NC   846CFS      260CFS/325.4

SOIL MOISTURE CONDITIONS - NEAR NORMAL TO BELOW NORMAL CONDITIONS

SOIL MOISTURE INDICATORS INCLUDING THE PALMER DROUGHT SEVERITY
INDEX...WHICH IS USED TO INFER DEEP SOIL MOISTURE...SHOWS...AS OF
JANUARY 17TH...THE MOST OF THE HSA...INCLUDING ALL OF VIRGINIA AND
NORTHEAST NORTH CAROLINA WERE IN THE NORMAL CONDITIONS FOR DEEP
SOIL MOISTURE. HOWEVER...THE LOWER MARYLAND EASTERN SHORE WAS
DESIGNATED AS IN THE MODERATE DROUGHT CATEGORY.

THE CPC SOIL MOISTURE MONITOR...WHICH LOOKS MORE AT THE TOPSOIL
MOISTURE...SHOWS THE TOP SOIL MOISTURE ACROSS THE VIRGINIA
PIEDMONT TO BE SLIGHTLY BELOW NORMAL WITH A SMALL DEFICIT OF ABOUT
20 MM. MEANWHILE...THE REMAINDER OF THE AREA IS IN THE NORMAL
RANGE...EXCEPT IN NORTHEAST NORTH CAROLINA WHERE TOP SOIL
MOISTURE IS EXCEEDING NORMAL LEVELS BY ABOUT 20 TO 40 MM.

GROUND WATER - MUCH BELOW NORMAL TO ABOVE NORMAL LEVELS.

GROUND WATER WELL LEVEL ARE VARYING ACROSS THE REGION AND COMPARE
FAVORABLY TO THE LONGER TERM PRECIPITATION PATTERN...AS THE
EFFECTS OF THE DRY SUMMER AND FALL ARE STILL NOTICEABLE.
HOWEVER...THE RECENT IMPROVEMENT IN THE RAINFALL OVER THE LAST 30
TO 60 DAYS...HAS BEGUN TO SHOW IN THE GROUND WATER LEVEL READINGS.
FOR THE WELLS ACROSS SOUTHEASTERN VIRGINIA...THE VIRGINIA PORTION
OF THE DELMARVA AND NORTHEAST NORTH CAROLINA...THE READINGS ARE EITHER
NEAR NORMAL OR ABOVE NORMAL AND THE TRENDS AT THESE SITE ARE FOR
CONTINUED RISES IN WATER LEVELS. HOWEVER ACROSS CENTRAL
VIRGINIA...MOST OF THE GAGES ARE READING EITHER BELOW NORMAL OR
WELL BELOW NORMAL. HOWEVER...THANKS TO THE RECENT RAINS...THE
TRENDS OF THE WATER LEVELS SHOW THAT THE RECHARGE PERIOD OF THE
GROUND WATER IS ABOUT TO BEGIN AS WATER LEVELS ARE BEGINNING TO
CREEP HIGHER. SINCE THE FIRST OUTLOOK TWO WEEKS AGO...THE TWO
WELLS CLOSEST TO RICHMOND HAVE RETURNED TO THE NORMAL RANGE FOR
WATER LEVELS...WITH THE UPWARD TREND. BUT THE GAGE IN WESTMORELAND
COUNTY CONTINUES TO LANGUISH WITH A WATER LEVEL BELOW THE LOWEST
PERCENTILE...ALTHOUGH IT HAS SHOWN SOME INDICATION THAT IT MAY BE
READY TO CLIMB...SHOULD ADDITIONAL PRECIPITATION CONTINUE TO FALL.

RESERVOIR CONDITIONS - NEAR NORMAL POOL LEVELS.

RESERVOIRS LEVELS AT MOST LOCATIONS ARE NEAR OR ABOVE GUIDE CURVE
LEVELS FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR AND WATER STORAGE IS IN THE NORMAL
RANGE.

WITH RESPECT TO FUTURE WEATHER...
FOR THE NEXT SEVEN DAYS...THROUGH THURSDAY JANUARY 29...THE
PERIOD WITH ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY FOR SIGNIFICANT RAIN AS A LOW
PRESSURE SYSTEM TRACKS FROM THE GULF COAST UP THE EASTERN SEABOARD
ON THE 23RD AND 24TH. RAINFALL AMOUNTS OF 1"-1.5" ARE POSSIBLE
WITH THIS SYSTEM. A FAST MOVING CLIPPER SYSTEM SWINGS THROUGH THE
REGION ON MONDAY AND DRAGS COLD AIR IN THE MID ATLANTIC STATES FOR
MUCH OF NEXT WEEK. HOWEVER...ANY PRECIPITATION WITH THIS SYSTEM
WILL BE LIGHT. THE REMAINDER OF THE WEEK LOOKS COLD AND DRY AS
HIGH PRESSURE DOMINATES THE WEATHER THROUGH THURSDAY.

IN THE 8 TO 14 DAY PERIOD...FROM JANUARY 30 - FEBRUARY 5TH...THE
OUTLOOK IS FOR BELOW NORMAL TEMPERATURES...WITH NEAR NORMAL TO
ABOVE NORMAL PRECIPITATION. COASTAL AREAS HAVE THE BETTER CHANCE
FOR ABOVE NORMAL PRECIPITATION.

LASTLY...THE THREE MONTH OUTLOOK FOR FEBRUARY THROUGH APRIL SHOWS...THAT
FOR TEMPERATURE AND PRECIPITATION THE AREA IS IN THE EQUAL
CHANCES CATEGORY...WHICH MEANS THE CHANCES ARE THE SAME FOR BELOW
NORMAL...NEAR NORMAL AND ABOVE NORMAL PRECIPITATION.

RIVER FLOOD POTENTIAL OUTLOOK THROUGH FEBRUARY 5 2015...

THE RIVER FLOOD POTENTIAL ACROSS THE WAKEFIELD HYDROLOGIC SERVICE
AREA IS NEAR NORMAL FOR ALL BASINS...INCLUDING THE JAMES AND
APPOMATTOX AND OTHER TRIBUTARIES ACROSS CENTRAL VIRGINIA...THE
CHOWAN BASIN IN SOUTHERN VIRGINIA AND NORTHEAST NORTH CAROLINA...
THE LOWER ROANOKE BASIN IN NORTHEAST NORTH CAROLINA AND THE LOWER
MARYLAND EASTERN SHORE THROUGH FEBRUARY 5TH. THE AREA THAT WOULD
HAVE THE BEST CHANCE OF FLOODING HOWEVER WOULD BE ACROSS THE
SOUTHEASTERN CHOWAN BASIN AND ALSO ALONG THE CASHIE RIVER...WHERE
RIVER LEVELS ARE CURRENTLY RUNNING ABOVE NORMAL.

THIS NEXT REGULARLY SCHEDULED UPDATE OF THE WINTER/SPRING FLOOD
OUTLOOK WILL BE THURSDAY FEBRUARY 5 2015...UNLESS CONDITIONS
WARRANT AN ADDITIONAL UPDATE.

FOR ADDITIONAL WEATHER OR HYDROLOGIC INFORMATION...VISIT OUR
WEBSITE AT WWW.WEATHER.GOV/WAKEFIELD.

$$








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