...MODERATE DROUGHT PERSISTS IN MUCH OF THE REGION...

THE U.S. DROUGHT MONITOR ISSUED THIS MORNING AND VALID THROUGH
JANUARY 1ST 2013 SHOWS MODERATE DROUGHT (D1 CATEGORY) REMAINING
ACROSS MUCH OF THE AREA AND EVEN EXPANDING SLIGHTLY IN THE UPPER
JAMES RIVER BASIN. THE AREA OF D1 NOW COVERS ALL OR MOST OF THE
ROANOKE...NEW...JAMES AND YADKIN RIVER BASINS IN THE BLACKSBURG
FORECAST AREA. THE FAR WESTERN MOUNTAINS OF WEST VIRGINIA...FAR
WESTERN VIRGINIA AND NORTHWEST NORTH CAROLINA REMAIN IN THE
ABNORMALLY DRY CATEGORY (D0 ON THE DROUGHT SCALE). DROUGHT
INTENSITY IS RATED ON A SCALE FROM D0 TO D4...A RANGE THAT COVERS
FROM ABNORMALLY DRY TO EXCEPTIONAL DROUGHT CONDITIONS.

DECEMBER PRECIPITATION DATA SHOWS THAT THE MONTH WAS JUST SLIGHTLY
BELOW NORMAL WITH AN AVERAGE AT 57 NWS COOPERATIVE AND ASOS
STATIONS OF 3.04 INCHES...VERSUS THE 30-YEAR NORMAL OF 3.27
INCHES OR 93 PERCENT OF AVERAGE. NOVEMBER HOWEVER WAS ONE OF
THE DRIEST ON RECORD RANKING AS THE SECOND ALL-TIME DRIEST
NOVEMBER AT SOME LOCATIONS. COMBINING NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER
PRECIPITATION NUMBERS STILL PUT SEVERAL CLIMATE SITES (BELOW)
IN THE TOP TEN DRIEST FOR THAT PERIOD.

CITY (PERIOD OF RECORD)NOV-DEC PRECIPRANKDRIEST (YEAR)
DANVILLE (1948-2012) 2.947TH1.25 (1965)
BLACKSBURG (1952-2012)3.499TH1.42 (1965)
BLUEFIELD (1959-2012)3.7110TH1.73 (1965)

THE VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY ISSUED DROUGHT
WATCH ADVISORIES LAST MONTH FOR THE NEW RIVER AND UPPER JAMES RIVER
DROUGHT EVALUATION REGIONS. THE EXISTING DROUGHT WATCH ADVISORY
FOR THE APPOMATTOX RIVER BASIN WAS ALSO EXPANDED TO INCLUDE THE
ENTIRE MIDDLE JAMES RIVER BASIN.

THE PRIMARY IMPACTS OF THE DROUGHT SO FAR HAVE BEEN REDUCED
STREAMFLOWS...LOWERED RESERVOIR LEVELS AND DECLINING GROUND
WATER LEVELS.  SHORT-TERM STREAMFLOWS (7-DAY AVERAGES)
RESPONDED POSITIVELY TO THE SERIES OF STORMS FROM THE MIDDLE
OF DECEMBER UNTIL AROUND CHRISTMAS BUT LONGER TERM AVERAGES
(28-DAY AVERAGES) REMAIN AT VERY LOW LEVELS...BELOW THE
10TH PERCENTILE. SOME AREA RESERVOIRS ALSO SAW INCREASED
INFLOWS BUT THIS TREND WILL LIKELY BE TEMPORARY WITHOUT
SIGNIFICANT PRECIPITATION.

FOR ADDITONAL INFORMATION SEE THE FOLLOWING SITES:

U.S. DROUGHT MONITOR...
HTTP://WWW.DROUGHT.UNL.EDU/DM/MONITOR.HTML

U.S. DROUGHT PORTAL...
HTTP://WWW.DROUGHT.GOV/

USGS WATERWATCH WEB PAGE...
HTTP://WATERWATCH.USGS.GOV/

NWS CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER...
HTTP://WWW.NCDC.NOAA.GOV/

$$


PC