Flood Potential Outlook
Issued by NWS Wakefield, VA

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WINTER/SPRING FLOOD POTENTIAL OUTLOOK
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WAKEFIELD VA
1049 AM EDT FRI MAR 20 2015


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

...RIVER FLOOD POTENTIAL NORMAL TO ABOVE NORMAL THROUGH APRIL 2ND...

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 10 AM
FRIDAY MARCH 20TH.

RECENT PRECIPITATION - SINCE MARCH 5TH...PRECIPITATION AMOUNTS
HAVE BEEN BETWEEN 1 - 3 INCHES FOR MOST OF THE HSA. 1.5 TO 2
INCHES IS NORMAL FOR THIS 14 DAY PERIOD...LEAVING MOST THE AREAS
IN THE NORMAL RANGE. HOWEVER...THE RICHMOND VICINITY RECEIVED MORE
THAN THE NORMAL WITH THAT REGION RECEIVING 2.5 - 3 INCHES...WHICH
RANGES UP TO 1 INCH ABOVE NORMAL. MEANWHILE...PARTS OF NORTHEAST
NORTH CAROLINA RECEIVED A LITTLE LESS...1 - 2 INCHES... AND WERE
UP TO 1 INCH BELOW NORMAL.

WHEN LOOKING BACK AT THE LAST 30 DAY PERIOD...FROM FEBRUARY 17TH THROUGH
MARCH 19TH...THE REGION RECEIVED ON AVERAGE 2.5 - 5 INCHES OF
PRECIPITATION WITH THE NORMAL RANGE FALLING BETWEEN 3 - 4 INCHES.
AGAIN...MOST AREAS FELL IN THE NORMAL RANGE WITH ONE EXCEPTION.
THE RICHMOND VICINITY AND AREAS TO THE NORTH THROUGH CAROLINE AND
LOUISA COUNTIES SAW BETWEEN 3.5 - 5 INCHES FOR THE 30 DAY
PERIOD...WHICH RANGED UP TO 2 INCHES ABOVE NORMAL.

LASTLY...LOOKING BACK TO THE BEGINNING OF THE WATER YEAR...WHICH
BEGINS ON OCTOBER 1ST...MOST AREAS HAVE RECEIVED BETWEEN 15 - 20
INCHES OF RAIN WHICH ARE GENERALLY NEAR NORMAL. THE ONLY AREA
THAT STANDS OUT AS BELOW NORMAL IS A PORTION OF THE GREAT DISMAL
SWAMP WHERE DEFICITS ARE UP TO 4 INCHES...ACCORDING TO THE
MULTISENSOR PRECIPITATION ESTIMATES ON THE ADVANCED HYDROLOGIC
PREDICTION SERVICE WEB SITE.  HTTP://WATER.WEATHER.GOV/PRECIP/

OVERALL...RAINFALL HAS BEEN SUFFICIENT ACROSS THE ENTIRE HSA THAT
NO PORTION OF THE AREA IS DESIGNATED AS ABNORMALLY DRY OR IN
DROUGHT BY THE US DROUGHT MONITOR. FOR FURTHER DROUGHT INFORMATION
PLEASE VISIT:

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

SNOW CONDITIONS - NORMAL. NO SIGNIFICANT SNOW IS CURRENTLY ON THE
GROUND ACROSS THE WAKEFIELD HSA.

RIVER ICE - NO RIVER ICE EXIST ON AREA CREEKS OR RIVERS.

STREAM FLOW CONDITIONS - NORMAL TO ABOVE NORMAL FOR THE WAKEFIELD
HSA.

THE 14 DAY AVERAGE FLOWS ACROSS THE WAKEFIELD HSA WERE NORMAL TO
ABOVE NORMAL FOR THE ENTIRE HSA...WITH MUCH OF THE CHOWAN BASIN
BEING ABOVE NORMAL AFTER SEVERAL SNOW AND RAIN EVENTS OVER THE
PAST TWO WEEKS.

THE REAL TIME FLOWS...AS OF FRIDAY MARCH 20...SHOW MOST GAGES ARE
IN THE NORMAL RANGE...EXCEPT FOR PORTIONS OF THE YORK RIVER
BASIN...MAINLY ALONG THE MATTAPONI RIVER...WERE LEVELS ARE RUNNING
BELOW NORMAL.

BELOW ARE SOME OBSERVED DAILY STREAM FLOWS WITH THE MEDIAN FLOW
FOR THE DATE...AS OF 7 AM THE 20TH OF MARCH:

LOCATION OBSERVED MEDIAN/PERCENTAGE
                                                        OF MEDIAN

RIVANNA RIVER/PALMYRA VA   679CFS      802CFS/ 84.7
JAMES RIVER/CARTERSVILLE VA 12300CFS     9600CFS/128.1
JAMES RIVER/RICHMOND VA 13700CFS     9740CFS/140.7
APPOMATTOX RIVER/FARMVILLE VA   320CFS     324CFS/ 98.8
APPOMATTOX RIVER/MATTOAX VA   687CFS      859CFS/ 80.0
APPOMATTOX RIVER/MATOACA VA  1220CFS            1680CFS/ 72.6
NOTTOWAY RIVER/RAWLINGS VA   307CFS      400CFS/ 76.8
NOTTOWAY RIVER/STONY CREEK VA   528CFS      813CFS/ 64.9
NOTTOWAY RIVER/SEBRELL VA  2600CFS     2210CFS/117.6
MEHERRIN RIVER/EMPORIA VA   757CFS      888CFS/ 85.2
BLACKWATER RIVER/FRANKLIN VA  1530CFS     1000CFS/153.0
MATTAPONI RIVER/BOWLING GREEN VA  169CFS      354CFS/ 47.7
MATTAPONI RIVER/BEULAHVILLE VA   459CFS      933CFS/ 49.2
POCOMOKE RIVER/ WILLARDS MD    87CFS       90CFS/ 96.7
POTECASI CREEK/UNION NC   217CFS      263CFS/ 82.5

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
MARCH 14TH...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 REGION IS IN
THE NORMAL RANGE FOR MOST OF VIRGINIA AND MARYLAND`S LOWER
EASTERN SHORE...WHILE ACROSS NORTHEASTERN NORTH CAROLINA POSITIVE
ANOMALIES OF 20 TO 40 MM...ARE BEING DISPLAYED AS OF MARCH 19TH.

GROUND WATER - BELOW NORMAL TO ABOVE NORMAL LEVELS.

THE GROUNDWATER DATA SHOWS THE THE GROUND WATER LEVELS CONTINUE TO
IMPROVE AS THE END OF THE TYPICAL GROUND WATER RECHARGE PERIOD
NEARS. ONE GAGE OF NOTE IS THE ONE IN WESTMORELAND COUNTY
VIRGINIA. THIS GAGE HAS BEEN READING MUCH BELOW NORMAL THROUGH OUT
THE WINTER MONTHS. BUT IN THE LAST 14 DAY PERIOD...WITH SNOW MELT
AND RAINFALL...WATER LEVELS IN THE NORTHERN NECK OF VIRGINIA HAVE
CLIMBED DRAMATICALLY AND NOW RESIDE IN THE NORMAL RANGE. ONLY
PORTIONS OF THE VIRGINIA PIEDMONT ARE STILL SHOWING BELOW NORMAL
GROUND WATER LEVELS...BUT EVEN THERE WATER LEVELS ARE RISING.

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 MARCH 26...RAIN
CONTINUES TO PUSH THROUGH THE REGION TODAY WITH AMOUNTS UP TO 0.75
INCHES POSSIBLE. DRY WEATHER IS EXPECTED FOR THE COMING WEEKEND.
THERE IS A CHANCE FOR RAIN ON MONDAY...BUT THE BEST CHANCE FOR
RAIN WITH THIS SYSTEM APPEARS TO BE JUST SOUTH OF THE AREA. THE
NEXT CHANCE FOR RAIN DOES NOT COME UNTIL THURSDAY WHEN A COLD
FRONT CROSSES THE AREA.

IN THE 8 TO 14 DAY PERIOD...FROM MARCH 27TH - APRIL 2ND...THE
OUTLOOK IS FOR BELOW NORMAL TEMPERATURES AND ABOVE NORMAL
PRECIPITATION...FOR THE ENTIRE HSA.

LASTLY...THE THREE MONTH OUTLOOK FOR MARCH THROUGH MAY SHOWS...
THAT FOR TEMPERATURE...THE AREA IS IN THE EQUAL CHANCES
CATEGORY...WHICH MEANS THE CHANCES ARE THE SAME FOR BELOW
NORMAL...NEAR NORMAL AND ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES. HOWEVER...FOR
PRECIPITATION...THE CHANCES ARE HIGHER FOR ABOVE NORMAL
PRECIPITATION.

RIVER FLOOD POTENTIAL OUTLOOK THROUGH APRIL 2 2015...

THE RIVER FLOOD POTENTIAL ACROSS THE WAKEFIELD HYDROLOGIC SERVICE
AREA IS NEAR NORMAL TO ABOVE 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 WILL BE THE LAST REGULARLY SCHEDULED UPDATE OF THE WINTER/SPRING
FLOOD OUTLOOK FOR THE SEASON...UNLESS CONDITIONS WARRANT AN ADDITIONAL
UPDATE. REGULARLY SCHEDULED OUTLOOKS WILL RESUME IN JANUARY OF 2016.

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


$$

ESS





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