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WINTER/SPRING FLOOD POTENTIAL OUTLOOK
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WAKEFIELD VA
435 PM EST THU JAN 8 2015

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

...RIVER FLOOD POTENTIAL NEAR NORMAL THROUGH JANUARY 22ND...

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 8TH.

RECENT PRECIPITATION - OVER THE LAST 30 DAY...FROM
12/9/14-1/7/15...RAINFALL AMOUNTS OF 2 - 5 INCHES HAVE BEEN COMMON
ACROSS THE HSA WITH THE HEAVIEST RAIN FALLING ACROSS SOUTHERN
VIRGINIA AND NORTHEAST NORTH CAROLINA...WHERE AMOUNTS OF 4 - 5
INCHES WERE REPORTED. THESE AMOUNTS RANGE FROM 0.50 INCHES - 1.50
INCHES ABOVE NORMAL FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR. IN CONTRAST...NORTHERN
PORTIONS OF THE HSA...INCLUDING THE NORTHERN NECK OF VIRGINIA AND
MUCH OF THE DELMARVA HAS SEEN AMOUNTS IN THE 2 - 3 INCH
RANGE...WHICH LEAVE DEFICITS OF UP TO 1 INCH OF RAIN FOR THE 30 DAY
PERIOD. 

LOOKING BACK TO THE BEGINNING OF THE WATER YEAR...THIS SAME AREA
OF THE NORTHERN NECK AND THE DELMARVA...THE RAIN AMOUNTS ARE
ONLY BETWEEN 7 - 9 INCHES...WHICH RANGE FROM 2 TO 4 INCHES BELOW
NORMAL. FOR THAT ARE THE DRY PATTERN EXTENDS BACK TO THE SUMMER OF
2014. THE DRIER THAN NORMAL CONDITIONS EXTEND ALSO INTO NORTHEAST
NORTH CAROLINA...WHERE DEFICITS OF 1 - 3 INCHES EXTEND FROM
EDENTON TO ELIZABETH CITY. SOME AREAS DO HAVE A SMALL
SURPLUS...AND THIS INCLUDES PORTIONS OF THE ROANOKE BASIN AS WELL
AS PORTIONS OF THE MEHERRIN RIVER BASIN...WHERE RAIN AMOUNTS OF 11
- 13 INCHES WERE REPORTED...A SURPLUS OF 1 - 2 INCHES.

AT THIS TIME...THE LONGER TERM DEFICITS IN THE NORTHER PORTION OF
THE HSA...INCLUDING CAROLINE COUNTY THROUGH THE NORTHERN NECK AND
ONTO THE DELMARVA...HAVE LED TO THIS AREA BEING DESIGNATED 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 - NEAR NORMAL.

THE 14 DAY AVERAGE FLOWS ACROSS THE WAKEFIELD HSA GENERALLY
CONTINUE TO SHOW NEAR NORMAL STREAM FLOW...HOWEVER A COUPLE OF
GAGES ACROSS THE LOWER MD EASTERN SHORE AND MUCH OF THE YORK RIVER
BASIN ARE BELOW NORMAL. THIS AREA IS COVERED BY THE ABNORMALLY DRY
AREA DISCUSSED IN THE PRECIPITATION SECTION ABOVE. A COUPLE OF
GAGES IN NORTHEAST NORTH CAROLINA ARE SHOWING ABOVE NORMAL FLOWS
FOR THE LAST 14 DAY PERIOD. HOWEVER...THE STREAM FLOWS HAVE BEEN
QUICK TO RISE DURING RAIN EVENTS AND THEN JUST AS QUICKLY DROP
WITH THE PERIOD OF DRY WEATHER THAT HAS BEEN IN PLACE OVER THE
LAST 7 TO 10 DAYS. AS A RESULT...MANY OF THE REAL TIME STREAM FLOW
MEASUREMENTS THIS AFTERNOON...1/8/2015...ARE EITHER BELOW NORMAL
OR WELL BELOW NORMAL FOR THE DATE.

BELOW ARE SOME OBSERVED DAILY STREAM FLOWS WITH THE MEDIAN FLOW
FOR THE DATE...AS OF NOON THE 8TH OF JANUARY:

LOCATION OBSERVED MEDIAN/PERCENTAGE
                                                        OF MEDIAN

RIVANNA RIVER/PALMYRA VA   357CFS      561CFS/ 63.6 
JAMES RIVER/CARTERSVILLE VA  5630CFS     6680CFS/ 84.2 
JAMES RIVER/RICHMOND VA  5970CFS     6340CFS/ 94.1 
APPOMATTOX RIVER/FARMVILLE VA    88CFS     212CFS/ 41.5 
APPOMATTOX RIVER/MATTOAX VA   281CFS      564CFS/ 49.8
APPOMATTOX RIVER/MATOACA VA   300CFS            1130CFS/ 26.5 
NOTTOWAY RIVER/RAWLINGS VA   146CFS      255CFS/ 57.2 
NOTTOWAY RIVER/STONY CREEK VA   286CFS      510CFS/ 56.1 
NOTTOWAY RIVER/SEBRELL VA   891CFS     1460CFS/ 61.0 
MEHERRIN RIVER/EMPORIA VA   435CFS      531CFS/ 81.9
BLACKWATER RIVER/FRANKLIN VA   780CFS      703CFS/111.0 
MATTAPONI RIVER/BOWLING GREEN VA   67CFS      234CFS/ 28.6 
MATTAPONI RIVER/BEULAHVILLE VA   149CFS      587CFS/ 25.4 
POCOMOKE RIVER/ WILLARDS MD    26CFS       73CFS/ 35.6 
POTECASI CREEK/UNION NC   168CFS      255CFS/ 65.9

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 8TH...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 TOP SOIL MOISTURE WITH A DEFICITS FROM THE
VIRGINIA PIEDMONT THROUGH THE NORTHERN NECK WHERE THE DEFICIT IS
THE GREATEST...AS OF JANUARY 7TH. THE REMAINDER OF THE AREA WAS IN
THE NORMAL RANGE.

GROUND WATER - MUCH BELOW NORMAL TO ABOVE NORMAL LEVELS.

GROUND WATER WELL LEVELS COMPARED FAVORABLE TO THE PRECIPITATION
PATTERN...IN THAT AREAS THAT HAVE RECEIVED ABOVE NORMAL
RAIN...ESPECIALLY IN THE SHORT TERM WERE SHOWING NORMAL TO ABOVE
NORMAL GROUND WATER LEVELS ALONG WITH POSITIVE WATER LEVEL TRENDS.
FOR EXAMPLE...THE WELLS IN ELIZABETH CITY NC AND VIRGINIA BEACH
BOTH HAD TREND LINES SHOWING THAT THE RECOVERY PERIOD FOR GROUND
WATER HAD BEGUN. MEANWHILE...SEVERAL WELLS FROM THE VIRGINIA
PIEDMONT EAST THROUGH RICHMOND AND INTO WESTMORELAND COUNTY SHOW
THE DOWNWARD WATER LEVEL TREND THAT HAS BEEN IN PLACE SINCE THE
SUMMER CONTINUES. THE GAGES ARE IN THE BELOW NORMAL RANGE WITH THE
GAGE IN WESTMORELAND COUNTY ACTUALLY SHOWING THE LOWEST READING
EVER FOR JANUARY.

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 15...THE PERIOD
WILL BEGIN COLD AND DRY THROUGH SUNDAY THE 11TH. HOWEVER...THE
MONDAY THROUGH THURSDAY PERIOD...12TH - 15TH...WILL HAVE SEVERAL
CHANCES FOR PRECIPITATION AS SOUTHWESTERLY FLOW ALOFT WILL MOVE
SYSTEMS ACROSS THE SOUTHERN US NORTHEASTWARD INTO THE MID ATLANTIC
STATES. THESE SYSTEMS COULD PRODUCE A COUPLE INCHES OF RAIN AS
THEY MOVE ACROSS THE REGION.

IN THE 8 TO 14 DAY PERIOD...FROM JANUARY 16 - 22...THE OUTLOOK IS
FOR ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES...WITH NEAR NORMAL PRECIPITATION.

LASTLY...THE THREE MONTH OUTLOOK FOR JANUARY THROUGH MARCH SHOWS...
THAT FOR TEMPERATURE THERE IS A BETTER CHANCE OF BELOW NORMAL
CONDITIONS AND FOR 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 JANUARY 22 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 JANUARY 22ND.

THIS NEXT REGULARLY SCHEDULED UPDATE OF THE WINTER/SPRING FLOOD
OUTLOOK WILL BE THURSDAY JANUARY 22 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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