November 21, 2012 - The first three weeks of November were dry with most places in the southern portion of the MARFC service area receiving only between 1/4 and 3/4 inches of precipitation. Some areas in northern Virginia and far southwest Virginia have picked up around 1 inch. Over the past 90 days, precipitation has been mostly around normal plus or minus an inch or two in far western Maryland, most of the eastern panhandle of West Virginia, and western and southern Virginia. Elsewhere, rainfall has been 4 to more than 12 inches above normal with the heaviest amounts having fallen in the Delmarva Peninsula and Tidewater Region of Virginia.

Current (November 21) streamflow data from the U.S. Geological Survey shows that streamflows are mostly around normal except in the southern two thirds of Virginia where flows are below normal. Groundwater levels are generally near or above normal.

The US Drought Monitor, as of November 20, indicates that moderate drought conditions exist in the Appomattox River Basin in central Virginia. This dryness has shifted and expanded westward into parts of the upper James River Basin. The state of Virginia has posted a drought watch for the Appomattox River Basin. Drought declarations, if any, are declared by individual states.

The weather outlook for the next couple of weeks calls for near or below normal precipitation. Temperatures should be near normal early in the period but then fall to below normal levels. The Climate Prediction Center's 30 day outlook for November as well as the 90 day outlook for November, 2012 through January, 2013 calls for near average precipitation and temperatures.

The outlook for water resources for the next several weeks looks fair in the south to very good elsewhere. As we head deeper into the autumn season, evapo-transpiration will become fairly minimal likely ensuring that abundant water resources, where they currently exist, will continue for the next several months. Only an extended period of dry weather (below or much below average precipitation) of at least several weeks would reverse this trend and this would be most likely to occur in southern Virginia. We are currently in one of those extended dry periods, though near normal precipitation is expected to return in the upcoming weeks. Water supplies and resources are likely to resume increasing once significant precipitation returns. However, should this not occur, then conditions could continue to become more dry for the southern half of Virginia.

In summary, the southern portion of the MARFC service area has sufficient to abundant water resources and water supplies. These water resources are likely to remain stable or increase in the upcoming weeks and months. With near normal precipitation expected to continue, water resources should remain sufficient or abundant and no water shortages are expected at least through the early parts of 2013.