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WINTER/SPRING FLOOD POTENTIAL OUTLOOK
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WAKEFIELD VA
347 PM EST THU FEB 5 2015

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

...RIVER FLOOD POTENTIAL NEAR NORMAL THROUGH FEBRUARY 19TH...

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 FEBRUARY 5TH.

RECENT PRECIPITATION - RECENT RAINFALL SINCE JANUARY 22 HAS BEEN
BETWEEN 1 - 3 INCHES FOR MOST OF THE HSA...WHICH RANGES FROM NEAR
NORMAL UP TO 1 INCH ABOVE NORMAL. THE LOWER MD EASTERN SHORE SAW THE
HIGHER END WITH SOME PORTIONS OF WORCESTER COUNTY MD SEEING UP TO
3.5 INCHES. THESE AMOUNTS RANGED FROM NEAR NORMAL TO AS MUCH AS 2
INCHES ABOVE NORMAL FOR THE 14 DAY PERIOD. THE ONLY LOCATION TO
RECEIVE LESS RAIN WAS ACROSS SOUTHERN VIRGINIA FROM DINWIDDIE
COUNTY NORTHEAST INTO WESTERN PORTIONS OF THE PENINSULA WHERE
AMOUNTS RANGED FROM 0.75 TO 1.25 INCHES...WHICH WERE AS MUCH AS 1
INCH BELOW NORMAL.

WHEN LOOKING BACK AT THE LAST 30 DAY PERIOD...FROM JANUARY 6TH
THROUGH FEBRUARY 5TH...THE AREA FROM THE RICHMOND VICINITY THROUGH
THE NORTHERN NECK AND INTO THE DELMARVA...ALONG WITH MUCH OF
NORTHEASTERN NC...SAW BETWEEN 4 - 7 INCHES OF RAIN...WHICH RANGED
UP TO 3 INCHES ABOVE NORMAL FOR THE 30 DAY PERIOD. MEANWHILE THE
REMAINDER OF THE AREA SAW BETWEEN 2 - 4 INCHES FOR THE 30 DAY
PERIOD WHICH RANGES FROM ABOUT AN INCH BELOW NORMAL TO NEAR
NORMAL. THE AREA WHICH RECEIVED THE LEAST AMOUNT OF RAIN WAS
ACROSS PORTIONS OF SOUTH CENTRAL VIRGINIA.

LASTLY...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. ONLY A SMALL AREA OF SOUTHEASTERN VIRGINIA IS
SHOWING A DEFICIT WITH THE SHORTFALL BEING 2 - 4 INCHES. 

WITH THE ADDITIONAL RAINFALL OVER THE LAST 4 MONTHS...THE DEFICITS
THAT HAD BEEN PERSISTING ACROSS THE NORTHERN NECK AND MIDDLE
PENINSULA AREAS HAVE BEEN DRAMATICALLY REDUCED OR ELIMINATED.
THUS...THE AREA THAT HAD BEEN DESIGNATED ABNORMALLY DRY IN THE US
DROUGHT MONITOR HAS BEEN REMOVED AND NO PORTION OF THE CWA IS
CURRENTLY DESIGNATED IN DROUGHT.  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 WERE MAINLY IN
THE NORMAL RANGE ACROSS THE ENTIRE HSA AS OF FEBRUARY 5TH. ONE
GAGE ON BOTH THE APPOMATTOX AND YORK BASINS REPORTED AVERAGE FLOW
BELOW NORMAL WHILE 3 GAGES...2 IN MARYLAND AND 1 IN NORTH CAROLINA
WERE ABOVE NORMAL FOR THE 14 DAY PERIOD. HOWEVER...THE REAL TIME
FLOWS FOR THURSDAY AFTERNOON...FEBRUARY 5TH...WERE SHOWING SOME
DIFFERENCES WITH BOTH THE MAJORITY OF THE YORK AND APPOMATTOX
BASINS SHOWING REAL TIME FLOWS BELOW NORMAL. THE DIFFERENCE
BETWEEN THE REAL TIME GAGES REPORTS AND THE 14 DAY AVERAGE CAN
BEEN SEEN IN THAT THE MAJORITY OF THE RAIN IN THE 14 DAY PERIOD
FELL FROM JANUARY 24 - 27...WHICH WAS EARLY IN THE
PERIOD...FOLLOWED BY A DRIER PERIOD TO END THE 14 DAY STRETCH.

BELOW ARE SOME OBSERVED DAILY STREAM FLOWS WITH THE MEDIAN FLOW
FOR THE DATE...AS OF NOON THE 5TH OF FEBRUARY:

LOCATION OBSERVED MEDIAN/PERCENTAGE
                                                        OF MEDIAN

RIVANNA RIVER/PALMYRA VA   407CFS      627CFS/ 64.9 
JAMES RIVER/CARTERSVILLE VA  5180CFS     7160CFS/ 72.3 
JAMES RIVER/RICHMOND VA  4570CFS     6910CFS/ 66.1 
APPOMATTOX RIVER/FARMVILLE VA   145CFS     260CFS/ 55.8 
APPOMATTOX RIVER/MATTOAX VA   391CFS      638CFS/ 61.3
APPOMATTOX RIVER/MATOACA VA   730CFS            1330CFS/ 54.9 
NOTTOWAY RIVER/RAWLINGS VA   210CFS      322CFS/ 65.2 
NOTTOWAY RIVER/STONY CREEK VA   397CFS      624CFS/ 63.6 
NOTTOWAY RIVER/SEBRELL VA  1060CFS     1650CFS/ 64.2 
MEHERRIN RIVER/EMPORIA VA   506CFS      694CFS/ 72.9
BLACKWATER RIVER/FRANKLIN VA   688CFS      900CFS/ 76.4 
MATTAPONI RIVER/BOWLING GREEN VA  126CFS      240CFS/ 52.5 
MATTAPONI RIVER/BEULAHVILLE VA   350CFS      656CFS/ 53.4 
POCOMOKE RIVER/ WILLARDS MD   104CFS       87CFS/119.5 
POTECASI CREEK/UNION NC   195CFS      224CFS/ 87.1

SOIL MOISTURE CONDITIONS - NEAR NORMAL 

SOIL MOISTURE INDICATORS INCLUDING THE PALMER DROUGHT SEVERITY
INDEX...WHICH IS USED TO INFER DEEP SOIL MOISTURE...SHOWS...AS OF
JANUARY 31ST...THE ENTIRE HSA IS IN THE NORMAL RANGE.

THE CPC SOIL MOISTURE MONITOR...WHICH LOOKS MORE AT THE TOPSOIL
MOISTURE...SHOWS THE TOP SOIL MOISTURE ACROSS THE SOUTHWEST 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 AS OF FEBRUARY 5TH.

GROUND WATER - MUCH BELOW NORMAL TO ABOVE NORMAL LEVELS.

GROUND WATER WELL LEVELS CONTINUE TO VARY ACROSS THE REGION AND
COMPARE FAVORABLY TO THE LONGER TERM PRECIPITATION PATTERN...AS
THE EFFECTS OF THE DRY SUMMER AND FALL ARE STILL NOTICEABLE.
THE GROUND WATER WELL IN WESTMORELAND COUNTY HAS IMPROVED SOME DUE
TO RECENT RAINS...BUT MORE RAINFALL IS NEEDED TO CONTINUE BRING
THE WATER LEVELS UP TOWARD NORMAL. THE WATER LEVEL WHICH ROSE
DRAMATICALLY WITH THE RAINS ON JANUARY 24 - 27 HAVE ALREADY BEGUN
TO FALL AGAIN SO MORE RAINFALL IS NEED IN THE NORTHERN PORTION OF
THE HSA TO CONTINUE THE RECHARGE PERIOD. PORTIONS OF THE VIRGINIA
PIEDMONT ARE ALSO IN THE BELOW NORMAL RANGE AND THE LEVELS ARE
STEADY. AGAIN INCREASED RAINFALL IS NEEDED HERE TO GET THE
RECHARGE UNDERWAY. ELSEWHERE...THE GROUNDWATER LEVELS ARE IN THE
NORMAL RANGE WITH ONE GAGE IN VIRGINIA BEACH SHOWING ABOVE NORMAL
LEVELS. MOST OF THESE GAGES INDICATE THAT THE GROUND WATER
RECHARGE IS UNDERWAY.

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 FEBRUARY 12TH...THE
PERIOD BEGINS WITH COLD AND DRY WEATHER WITH CANADIAN HIGH
PRESSURE MOVING OVER THE AREA. THE AREA OF HIGH PRESSURE WILL
SLIDE OFF THE COAST FOR THE WEEKEND ALLOWING A WARM UP AS THE FLOW
TURNS SOUTHERLY. THE NEXT CHANCE FOR RAIN COMES SUNDAY NIGHT INTO
MONDAY NIGHT AS AN AREA OF LOW PRESSURE SLIDES OVER THE AREA
BEFORE INTENSIFYING OFF THE MID ATLANTIC COAST ON MONDAY NIGHT.
RAIN AMOUNTS ARE NOT EXPECTED TO BE HEAVY WITH THIS EVENT. DRY
WEATHER RETURNS TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY AS HIGH PRESSURE MOVES INTO
THE AREA. ANOTHER COLD FRONT ARRIVES ON THURSDAY THE 12TH...BUT
THE FRONT APPEARS TO LACK MOISTURE AND RAIN CHANCES LOOK LOW AT
THIS TIME.

IN THE 8 TO 14 DAY PERIOD...FROM FEBRUARY 13TH - 19TH...THE
OUTLOOK IS FOR BELOW NORMAL TEMPERATURES AND PRECIPITATION...FOR THE
ENTIRE HSA. 

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 19 2015...

THE RIVER FLOOD POTENTIAL ACROSS THE WAKEFIELD HYDROLOGIC SERVICE
AREA IS NEAR NORMAL FOR ALL BASINS BASED ON THE CURRENT
STREAMFLOW...GROUNDWATER AND SOIL MOISTURE CONDITIONS.
REMEMBER...IN THIS PART OF THE MID ATLANTIC REGION...HEAVY
RAINFALL IS THE PRIMARY FACTOR IN RIVER FLOODING.

THIS NEXT REGULARLY SCHEDULED UPDATE OF THE WINTER/SPRING FLOOD
OUTLOOK WILL BE THURSDAY FEBRUARY 19 2015...UNLESS CONDITIONS
WARRANT AN ADDITIONAL UPDATE.

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


$$

ESS





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