Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Sterling, VA
AXUS71 KLWX 201238
Drought Information Statement
National Weather Service Baltimore MD/Washington DC
838 AM EDT Thu Apr 20 2017
...SOME RAINY PERIODS...SOME DRY PERIODS...LITTLE CHANGE IN
As of April 18th 2017, the U.S. Drought Monitor indicates that no
change has occurred in the past two weeks, with a couple periods
of rainfall, but lingering long-term deficits.
Moderate Drought (D1) is indicated in most of Northern and
Central Virginia, except near Winchester and east of
Fredericksburg. Moderate Drought is also indicated in the District
of Columbia, Montgomery and Howard Counties in Maryland, and in
portions of Frederick, Carroll, Baltimore, and Anne Arundel
Counties in Maryland, and Pendleton County West Virginia.
A small portion of the area is designated as Abnormally Dry (D0),
which includes portions of Shenandoah County, Warren County,
Clarke County, Jefferson County, Berkeley County, Washington
County, Charles County, and Harford County.
SUMMARY OF IMPACTS...
State and Local Declarations:
The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) continues the
declaration of a Drought Warning for the Central Region of the
state, which includes Frederick, Carroll, and Harford Counties,
and portions of Montgomery and Baltimore Counties not served by
the Baltimore or WSSC public water systems. This drought warning
is based on indicators of precipitation, groundwater, streamflow,
and reservoir storage. In a Drought Warning, water conservation
The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) continues
a Drought Watch for the Northern Piedmont region of the state,
which includes Culpeper, Greene, Madison, Orange, Rappahannock,
Spotsylvania, and Stafford Counties, and the City of
Fredericksburg, and for the Northern Virginia region, which
specifically applies to public or private groundwater supplies or
private surface water supplies in Fauquier, Prince William, and
Loudoun Counties. Water systems using the Potomac or Occoquan are
not included in this declaration.
Soil moisture remains somewhat below normal, but is significantly
improved from the worst conditions of the winter. A portion of the
Moderate Drought (D1) region does have soil moisture in the 10th
to 20th percentile range for this time of year.
After making a brief comeback, groundwater has returned to below
normal levels following a recent dry spell. This goes for both
shallow and deeper aquifers.
Planting is ongoing for the season. Agricultural impacts, if any,
will begin to show themselves if dry weather persists.
Rainfall over the last seven days has been less than an inch
areawide. Parts of southern Maryland remained completely dry
during that time, but those areas are not currently in any drought
designation. Many areas are still above normal on rainfall over
the past two weeks to one month, but at longer timescales the
deficits creep back in, with rainfall generally only 50-75 percent
of normal long-term.
A recent unsettled pattern with light rain will continue into the
weekend of 4/22-4/23. The rain will intensify on the north side of
a cold front. Total rain will be around an inch near the
Pennsylvania border, but could be as much as three inches in the
southern portion of area (where it`s been the driest recently, so
that would be good news). Some stream flooding cannot be ruled
Another chance for rain could occur around midweek next week
(April 27th). After that, there`s pretty high confidence that the
final weekend of April will feature dry weather and unseasonably
hot temperatures. The outlook for week two favors above normal
temperatures and near to above normal precipitation.
The drought outlook calls for drought conditions to be alleviated
by the end of June in most of the region.
HYDROLOGIC SUMMARY AND OUTLOOK...
While weekly average streamflows have improved as a result of
recent rain events, due to the low groundwater and soil moisture,
those streamflows return to seasonally low levels as soon as we
get a stretch of several dry days in a row. These low baseflow
levels do not preclude flooding, but they do mean that more rain
is required to cause flooding of streams.
Soil moisture and groundwater levels are likely to remain
generally status quo during the upcoming two week period, with
some slight drying if a long dry spell takes shape.
NEXT ISSUANCE DATE...
This product is issued periodically when Moderate Drought (D1) is
the worst-indicated category in the Baltimore/Washington area of
responsibility. The next issuance will be Thursday, May 4th, 2017.
RELATED WEB SITES...
Additional information on current drought conditions may be found
at the following web addresses...
US Drought Monitor...http://www.droughtmonitor.unl.edu
NWS Drought Page...http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/drought
Climate Prediction Center (CPC)...http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov
ADDITIONAL RIVER INFORMATION...
National Weather Service...http://water.weather.gov
US Geological Survey...http://water.usgs.gov
The drought monitor is a multi-agency effort involving NOAA`s
National Weather Service and National Climatic Data Center, the
USDA, state and regional center climatologists, and the National
Drought Mitigation Center. Information for this statement has
been gathered from NWS and FAA observation sites, State
Cooperative Extension Services, the USDA, USACE, and USGS.
QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS...
If you have questions or comments about this Drought Information
National Weather Service
43858 Weather Service Road
Sterling, VA 20166