Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Sterling, VA

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AXUS71 KLWX 221337

Drought Information Statement
National Weather Service Baltimore MD/Washington DC
834 AM EST Thu Feb 22 2018


As of February 20th 2018, the U.S. Drought Monitor indicates that
improvement continues to occur in drought conditions, but there
are still some long term deficits and subsurface water concerns.

D1 (Moderate Drought) conditions are now designated only for a
small -- but significant -- portion of the area, including the
District of Columbia, parts of Howard, Montgomery, and Prince
Georges Counties in Maryland, and parts of Fauquier, Stafford,
Prince William, Loudoun, and Fairfax Counties in Virginia, as well
as all of Arlington County and the cities of Manassas, Manassas
Park, Falls Church, Fairfax, and Alexandria. This is a decrease in
area from the last Drought Statement.

Most of the rest of the area, east of the Blue Ridge and Catoctin
Mountains, is now designated as D0 (Abnormally Dry), including the
city of Baltimore. This also includes the cities of
Harrisonsburg, Waynesboro, and Staunton west of the Blue Ridge.

State and Local Declarations:
A Drought Watch has been declared by the Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality (DEQ) for all of northern Virginia, except
for King George County, Highland County, and communities whose
water supplies come from the Potomac River or Occoquan Reservoir.
A Drought Watch has been recommended for Highland County but has
not yet been declared. This status will be reassessed by the
state in early March.

A Drought Watch has also been declared by the Maryland Department
of the Environment (MDE) for its Central and Southern regions,
which include Frederick, Carroll, Harford, Charles, Calvert, and
Saint Mary`s Counties, as well as portions of Montgomery, Howard,
Anne Arundel, Prince George`s, and Baltimore Counties that are
not serviced by WSSC or Baltimore City water systems. This status
will be reassessed by the state in early March.

Both of these declarations date back to before the recent
rainfall. No other state or local declarations are known as of
the time of this statement.

Hydrologic Impacts:
Soil moisture has improved dramatically, and is now near or above
normal areawide.

Groundwater levels have also made a significant recovery. While
they are still below normal in northern Virginia, a notable move
has occurred in the groundwater wells there also. The only site
that has not moved is one in Baltimore County, but the historical
record indicates this is, on average, the lowest time of year for
that site anyway.

Our wet pattern of recent weeks has done an excellent job of
eliminating short term precipitation deficits. Rainfall in the
last 30 days is above normal; 60 days is near to above normal;
and 90 days is near to below normal. It is these deficits from
the late summer and autumn that are still a concern; however, as
long as we do not have another long dry stretch this spring,
concerns are decreasing.

As of February 22nd, we remain in an active weather pattern, with
chances for rain most days in the final week of February.

The 8-to-14 day outlook for week two from the Climate Prediction
Center indicates the potential for another pattern shift, and
favors near to below normal temperatures and near to below normal

Streamflows are generally near normal to above normal, although a
swath of smaller streams from Carroll County to the DC metro are
now below normal. Given the expected patterns over the next two
weeks, the current status is likely to continue, with some

Groundwater and soil moisture are also likely to show some slight
continued improvement.

The Drought Outlook calls for continued improvement overall.

With D2 conditions no longer indicated in this Hydrologic Service
Area, and a likelihood of continued improvement, this statement
will no longer be issued weekly. The next scheduled issuance of
the Drought Statement will be Thursday, March 8th, 2018.


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

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.

If you have questions or comments about this Drought Information
Statement...please contact...

National Weather Service
43858 Weather Service Road
Sterling, VA 20166
Phone: 703-996-2200


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