Flood Potential Outlook
Issued by NWS Wakefield, VA

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WINTER/SPRING FLOOD POTENTIAL OUTLOOK
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WAKEFIELD VA
430 PM EST THU MAR 5 2015

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

...RIVER FLOOD POTENTIAL NORMAL TO ABOVE NORMAL THROUGH MARCH 19TH...

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 MARCH 5TH.

RECENT PRECIPITATION - RECENT RAINFALL SINCE FEBRUARY 19 HAS BEEN
BETWEEN 1 - 2.5 INCHES FOR MOST OF THE HSA. 1.5 TO 2 INCHES IS
NORMAL FOR THE LAST TWO WEEK PERIOD OF FEBRUARY. THE AREAS THAT
WERE OUTSIDE OF THIS RANGE WERE PARTS OF SE VIRGINIA INTO THE
VIRGINIA TIDEWATER WHERE AMOUNTS RANGED FROM 1 - 2 INCHES...WHICH
WERE UP TO 0.50 INCHES BELOW NORMAL. MEANWHILE PORTIONS OF THE
AREA FROM THE RICHMOND VICINITY NORTH AND WEST INTO THE PIEDMONT
ALONG WITH PARTS OF THE LOWER MARYLAND EASTERN SHORE SAW AMOUNTS
UP TO 2.5 INCHES WHICH WERE UP TO 1 INCH ABOVE NORMAL.

WHEN LOOKING BACK AT THE LAST 30 DAY PERIOD...FROM FEBRUARY 3RD
THROUGH MARCH 5TH...THE REGION RECEIVED ON AVERAGE 2.5 - 5 INCHES
OF PRECIPITATION WITH THE NORMAL RANGE FALLING BETWEEN 3 - 4
INCHES. SIMILAR TO THE 14 AREAS...PARTS OF SOUTHEASTERN VIRGINIA
IN THE TIDEWATER WAS ON THE LOWER END OF THE RANGE WITH AMOUNTS
BETWEEN 2.5 - 3.5 INCHES WHICH RANGED FROM NEAR NORMAL TO 1 INCH
BELOW NORMAL. MEANWHILE A SMALL AREA NORTH AND WEST OF THE
RICHMOND AND TRI- CITIES AREA SAW BETWEEN 3.5 - 5 INCHES...WHICH
WAS UP TO 1.5 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.

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 - SNOW AND SLEET ARE FALLING ACROSS THE REGION AS
OF THURSDAY AFTERNOON MARCH 5...WITH WITH LIGHT ACCUMULATIONS IN THE
VIRGINIA PIEDMONT AND AREAS NEAR AND NORTH OF RICHMOND INTO THE
NORTHERN NECK AND LOWER MARYLAND EASTERN SHORE. THIS STORM WILL
EXIT THE REGION AND IS EXPECT TO LEAVE SNOWFALL AMOUNTS OF 2 - 5
FROM THE VIRGINIA PIEDMONT ACROSS THE RICHMOND VICINITY INTO THE
NORTHERN NECK AND LOWER MARYLAND EASTERN SHORE. SOUTH AND EAST OF
THIS AREA SNOW FALL AMOUNTS WILL BE UP TO 2 INCHES WITH MOST
AREAS...ESPECIALLY ACROSS SOUTHEASTERN VA AND NORTHEAST NORTH
CAROLINA SEEING AMOUNTS AN INCH OR LESS. THIS SNOW IS EXPECT TO
BEGIN TO MELT OVER THE WEEKEND AS TEMPERATURES MODERATE INTO THE
40S AND LOWER 50S.

RIVER ICE - TEMPERATURES HAVE WARMED OVER THE EARLY PART OF MARCH
SO THAT ANY RIVER ICE THAT HAD BEEN IMPACTED THE AREA DURING THE
LAST TWO WEEKS OF FEBRUARY HAS MELTED.

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

THE 14 DAY AVERAGE FLOWS ACROSS THE WAKEFIELD HSA WERE IMPROVED
FROM THE PREVIOUS 14 DAY PERIOD WITH MOST AREAS EITHER IN THE
NORMAL RANGE OR ABOVE NORMAL RANGE THANKS TO THE SEVERAL WINTRY
PRECIPITATION EVENTS THAT IMPACTED THE AREA IN LATE FEBRUARY.
SEVERAL GAGES IN THE JAMES AND YORK RIVER BASINS STILL SHOW THE
EFFECTS OF THE DRY WEATHER FROM THE END OF JANUARY INTO MID
FEBRUARY AS THE 14 DAY AVERAGES THERE ARE STILL BELOW NORMAL...BUT
2 WEEKS AGO THESE GAGES WITH IN THE MUCH BELOW NORMAL RANGE.

THE REAL TIME FLOWS...AS OF THURSDAY MARCH 5...SHOW THE IMPACT
OF THE ACTIVE WEATHER OF LATE FEBRUARY AND EARLY MARCH. NO GAGE AS
OF MARCH 5 SHOWED BELOW NORMAL STREAMFLOW. ALL GAGES HAD FLOWS
THAT WERE NORMAL TO ABOVE NORMAL ACROSS THE ENTIRE HSA.

BELOW ARE SOME OBSERVED DAILY STREAM FLOWS WITH THE MEDIAN FLOW
FOR THE DATE...AS OF 10 AM THE 19TH OF FEBRUARY:

LOCATION OBSERVED MEDIAN/PERCENTAGE
                                                        OF MEDIAN

RIVANNA RIVER/PALMYRA VA  1610CFS      686CFS/234.7
JAMES RIVER/CARTERSVILLE VA  7550CFS     8300CFS/ 91.0
JAMES RIVER/RICHMOND VA  6900CFS     7850CFS/ 87.9
APPOMATTOX RIVER/FARMVILLE VA   688CFS     297CFS/231.6
APPOMATTOX RIVER/MATTOAX VA  1390CFS      772CFS/180.1
APPOMATTOX RIVER/MATOACA VA  2230CFS            1290CFS/172.9
NOTTOWAY RIVER/RAWLINGS VA   609CFS      345CFS/176.5
NOTTOWAY RIVER/STONY CREEK VA  1620CFS      642CFS/252.3
NOTTOWAY RIVER/SEBRELL VA  3120CFS     2010CFS/155.2
MEHERRIN RIVER/EMPORIA VA  1760CFS      819CFS/214.9
BLACKWATER RIVER/FRANKLIN VA  1240CFS      990CFS/125.3
MATTAPONI RIVER/BOWLING GREEN VA  290CFS      240CFS/120.8
MATTAPONI RIVER/BEULAHVILLE VA   644CFS      671CFS/ 96.0
POCOMOKE RIVER/ WILLARDS MD   272CFS       91CFS/298.9
POTECASI CREEK/UNION NC   878CFS      318CFS/276.1

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
FEBRUARY 28TH...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 NORTHEASTERN NORTH CAROLINA AND PORTIONS OF EXTREME
SOUTHEASTERN VIRGINIA ARE SHOWING POSITIVE ANOMALIES OF 20 TO 40
MM...AS OF MARCH 4TH.

GROUND WATER - MUCH BELOW NORMAL TO ABOVE NORMAL LEVELS.

THE GROUNDWATER DATA SHOWS THAT THE RECENT RAIN HAS ALLOWED THE
GROUNDWATER RECHARGE TO RESUME AFTER IT HAD STALLED IN EARLY
FEBRUARY. THE GAGE IN WESTMORELAND COUNTY IS STILL MUCH BELOW
NORMAL DUE TO THE LONG DRY SPELL LAST SUMMER AND INTO THE EARLY
FALL. IT WILL NEED CONTINUED PRECIPITATION THROUGH THE EARLY
SPRING TO FULL RECOVER. THE GROUNDWATER WELLS IN THE VIRGINIA
PIEDMONT ARE STILL RUNNING BELOW NORMAL AS WELL AS THE RECHARGE
HAS BEEN WEAK AND WATER LEVELS HAVE BEEN SLOW TO RESPOND.
ELSEWHERE...READINGS ARE IN THE NORMAL TO ABOVE NORMAL RANGE.

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 12TH...THE REGION
IS BEING IMPACTED BY ANOTHER WINTRY EVENT AT PRODUCT ISSUANCE ON
MARCH 5. THIS EVENT IS BRINGING SNOW AND RAIN TO THE AREA WITH
SEVERAL INCHES OF ACCUMULATION IN THE VIRGINIA PIEDMONT THROUGH
THE RICHMOND VICINITY NORTHEASTWARD INTO THE LOWER MARYLAND
EASTERN SHORE. ELSEWHERE RAIN HAS BEEN MORE PREVALENT WITH THE
PRECIPITATION EXPECTED TO END AS A WINTRY MIX. BEHIND THIS
FRONT...COLD HIGH PRESSURE ARRIVES FOR FRIDAY THE 6TH BUT THEN A
WARMING TREND IS EXPECT TO BEGIN ON SATURDAY THE 7TH THROUGH
MONDAY THE 9TH WITH DRY WEATHER EXPECTED. THE NEXT CHANCE FOR RAIN
COMES ON TUESDAY AS A LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM MOVES UP THROUGH THE
CAROLINAS WITH SOME LIGHT RAIN. DRY WEATHER IS EXPECT TO RETURN
FOR WEDNESDAY THE 11TH AND THURSDAY THE 12TH WITH NEAR NORMAL TEMPERATURES

IN THE 8 TO 14 DAY PERIOD...FROM MARCH 13TH - MARCH 19TH...THE
OUTLOOK IS FOR ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES AND ABOVE NORMAL
PRECIPITATION...FOR THE ENTIRE HSA.

LASTLY...THE THREE MONTH OUTLOOK FOR MARCH THROUGH MAY SHOWS...
THAT FOR TEMPERATURE AND 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 MARCH 19 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 NEXT REGULARLY SCHEDULED UPDATE OF THE WINTER/SPRING FLOOD
OUTLOOK WILL BE THURSDAY MARCH 19 2015...UNLESS CONDITIONS WARRANT
AN ADDITIONAL UPDATE.

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


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