Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Sterling, VA
AXUS71 KLWX 161517
Drought Information Statement
National Weather Service Baltimore MD/Washington DC
1017 AM EST Thu Feb 16 2017
...DROUGHT CONDITIONS STARTING TO WORSEN AGAIN DUE TO EXTREMELY
As of February 14th 2017, the U.S. Drought Monitor indicates
Moderate Drought (D1) conditions have expanded and now include
all of northeast Maryland east of Frederick County, Washington
D.C., and much of the northern Virginia area along and east of US
Highway 29, including the cities of Charlottesville, Culpeper,
Fairfax, and Fredericksburg. Abnormally Dry (D0) conditions
continue across most of the remainder of the area near and east
of the Blue Ridge Mountains, except for portions of Saint Mary`s,
Calvert, and King George Counties.
SUMMARY OF IMPACTS...
A drought watch from the Maryland Department of the Environment
remains in effect for their Central Region, which includes areas
east of the Blue Ridge and north of the WSSC and Baltimore service
Soil moisture is near to above normal in the Potomac Highlands,
but below to much below normal elsewhere, especially in the D.C.
The 4:00 p.m. Burning Law is in effect through April 30th for all
of Virginia. This law mandates that no burning is permitted before
4 p.m. if the fire is in, or within 300 feet of, woodland,
brushland, or fields containing dry grass or other flammable
Given the time of year, impacts are fairly minimal. However, with
warm weather upcoming and the potential for plant growth to begin,
impacts may begin to increase soon due to seasonably low
groundwater and streamflow conditions.
The first half of February has been unusually dry. Less than half
an inch of liquid equivalent precipitation has occurred over much
of the area between Columbia, Maryland and Charlottesville,
Virginia. Many areas have seen less than a quarter inch. Normal is
between one and two inches.
Precipitation in the past 30 days is among the ten driest on
record in the DC and Baltimore areas (but is among the ten wettest
on record near Cumberland, Maryland!).
Precipitation in the past six months is also among the ten driest
on record across the entire D1 (Moderate Drought) area.
Virtually no precipitation is expected for the first week of the
outlook period (through February 23rd). Although there are some
signs of a slightly more active pattern toward the end of February
or early March, it still appears precipitation will remain below
normal. Temperatures are expected to be above to well above normal
for most of the rest of the month.
The longer range outlook through May indicates no significant
signal for below/above/near normal precipitation, but the drought
outlook through May indicates drought improvement is likely.
HYDROLOGIC SUMMARY AND OUTLOOK...
Streamflows are in the tenth percentile or less within the D0/D1
area due to the lack of recent rains, and a couple streams are
even at or approaching record lows for this time of year.
Groundwater is also below normal within the D1 area in particular.
There are no signs of improvement in the next few weeks, given the
NEXT ISSUANCE DATE...
This product will be updated on March 6th 2017, or sooner if
necessary in response to significant changes in conditions.
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