Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Sterling, VA

Current Version | Previous Version | Text Only | Print | Product List | Glossary On
Versions: 1 2 3 4 5
000 AXUS71 KLWX 161517 DGTLWX DCC001-MDC003-005-013-025-027-031-033-510-VAC003-013-047-059-061- 079-107-113-137-153-177-179-510-540-600-610-630-683-685-062330- 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 DRY FEBRUARY... SYNOPSIS... 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 areas. Soil moisture is near to above normal in the Potomac Highlands, but below to much below normal elsewhere, especially in the D.C. metro area. 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 material. 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. CLIMATE SUMMARY... 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. PRECIPITATION/TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK... 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 current forecast. 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 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS... 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 Statement...please contact... National Weather Service 43858 Weather Service Road Sterling, VA 20166 Phone: 703-996-2200 lwxwebmaster@noaa.gov $$

USA.gov is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.