Flood Potential Outlook
Issued by NWS Wakefield, VA

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WINTER/SPRING FLOOD POTENTIAL OUTLOOK
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WAKEFIELD VA
239 PM EST THU FEB 4 2016

...THIRD WINTER/SPRING FLOOD OUTLOOK FOR 2016...

...RIVER FLOOD POTENTIAL ABOVE NORMAL THROUGH FEBRUARY 18TH...

EACH WINTER AND EARLY SPRING...THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
OFFICE IN WAKEFIELD VA ISSUES A SERIES OF FLOOD POTENTIAL
OUTLOOKS. THESE OUTLOOKS ESTIMATE THE POTENTIAL FOR RIVER
FLOODING ACROSS THE WAKEFIELD FORECAST OFFICE`S HYDROLOGIC
SERVICE AREA (HSA). THE HSA INCLUDES CENTRAL AND EASTERN
VIRGINIA...THE LOWER MARYLAND EASTERN SHORE...AND PORTIONS OF
NORTHEAST 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
TOO...RECENT PRECIPITATION...SOIL MOISTURE...SNOW COVER AND SNOW
WATER EQUIVALENT...STREAM FLOWS...RIVER ICE AND EXPECTED FUTURE
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 ANYTIME OF THE YEAR...EVEN WHEN
OVERALL RIVER FLOOD POTENTIAL IS CONSIDERED LOW.

THE FOLLOWING IS A SUMMARY OF THE CURRENT CONDITIONS AS OF
THURSDAY FEBRUARY 4 2016:

CURRENT FLOODING - THE MEHERRIN RIVER AT LAWRENCEVILLE IS
CURRENTLY IN FLOOD AS OF 1 PM THURSDAY FEBRUARY 4TH. A FLOOD
WARNING IS ALSO IN EFFECT FOR THE JAMES RIVER AT RICHMOND-WESTHAM
FOR MINOR FLOODING EARLY FRIDAY MORNING.

RECENT PRECIPITATION - OVER THE LAST 30 DAYS...FROM JANUARY 6
THROUGH FEBRUARY 4 2016...RAINFALL TOTALS ACROSS THE HSA HAVE
RANGED 3" TO 5" WITH A LOCAL MAXIMUM OF AROUND 6 INCHES IN THE
VIRGINIA TIDEWATER. THESE TOTALS RANGE FROM NEAR NORMAL TO AS MUCH
AT 3 INCHES ABOVE NORMAL.

LOOKING AT PRECIPITATION TOTALS AT LONGER TIME STEPS...THE
60 AND 90 DAY TIME STEPS STILL SHOW LARGE PORTIONS OF THE AREA
RECEIVING ABOVE NORMAL RAINFALL. IN THE 60 DAY TIME PERIOD THRU
EARLY DECEMBER...PRECIPITATION TOTALS RANGED FROM 6" -
11"...WHICH RANKS FROM NEAR NORMAL TO UP TO 4" ABOVE NORMAL. AT
90 DAYS THE SURPLUS WAS AS MUCH AS 6" WITH RAINFALL TOTALS BETWEEN
9" - 16" BEING REPORTED.

WITH ALL OF THE RAINFALL THAT THE REGION HAS SEEN...THE US
DROUGHT MONITOR SHOWS NO MENTION OF DRYNESS OR DROUGHT ACROSS THE
WAKEFIELD HSA. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON THE US DROUGHT MONITOR
OR OTHER DROUGHT INFORMATION...PLEASE VISIT:

HTTP://DROUGHTMONITOR.UNL.EDU/

SNOW CONDITIONS - NO SIGNIFICANT SNOW PACK REMAINS FROM THE SNOW
STORM ON JANUARY 22ND AND 23RD AS THE COMBINATION OF WARM
TEMPERATURES AND RAINFALL HAVE CAUSED THE SNOW TO MELT.

RIVER ICE CONDITIONS - THERE IS CURRENTLY NO SIGNIFICANT ICING ON
AREA RIVERS ACROSS THE HSA.

STREAM FLOW CONDITIONS - THE 14 DAY AVERAGE STREAM FLOWS...THROUGH
FEBRUARY 3RD...WERE IN THE AVERAGE RANGE ACROSS MUCH OF SOUTH
CENTRAL VIRGINIA...WHILE THE REMAINDER OF THE AREA REPORTED ABOVE
AVERAGE STREAM FLOWS FOR THE 14 DAY PERIOD.

WHEN LOOKING AT THE REAL TIME FLOWS AS OF NOON ON FEBRUARY
4TH...THE RIVER LEVELS RIVER LEVELS ARE RISING IN RESPONSE TO THE
SNOW MELT AND ALSO MODERATE TO HEAVY RAINFALL THAT OCCURRED ON
FEBRUARY 3RD. HERE ARE SOME REAL TIME STREAM FLOWS AS OF NOON
FEBRUARY 4TH:

LOCATION OBSERVED LEVEL/MEDIAN FLOW/PERCENTAGE OF MEDIAN
RIVANNA RIVER
PALMYRA VA 5320 CFS/ 655 CFS/812.2
JAMES RIVER
CARTERSVILLE VA   36300 CFS/6860 CFS/529.2
RICHMOND VA   29500 CFS/6910 CFS/426.9
APPOMATTOX RIVER
FARMVILLE VA1840 CFS/ 265 CFS/694.3
    MATTOAX VA3040 CFS/ 658 CFS/462.0
    MATOACA VA4160 CFS/ 1380 CFS/301.4
NOTTOWAY RIVER
RAWLINGS VA1820 CFS/ 278 CFS/654.7
STONY CREEK VA3530 CFS/ 595 CFS/593.3
SEBRELLVA 2960 CFS/ 1610 CFS/ 183.9
MEHERRIN RIVER
EMPORIA VA2670 CFS/ 640 CFS/417.2
BLACKWATER RIVER
FRANKLIN VA1790 CFS/ 905 CFS/197.8
MATTAPONI RIVER
BOWLING GREEN VA 885 CFS/ 242 CFS/365.7
BEULAHVILLE VA1560 CFS/  628 CFS/248.4
POCOMOKE RIVER
WILLARDS MD 122 CFS/  79 CFS/154.4
POTECASI CREEK
UNION NC 547 CFS/ 237 CFS/230.8

SOIL MOISTURE CONDITIONS - NEAR NORMAL TO ABOVE NORMAL

SOIL MOISTURE INDICATORS INCLUDING THE PALMER DROUGHT SEVERITY
INDEX...WHICH IS USED TO INFER DEEP SOIL MOISTURE...SHOWS...AS OF
JANUARY 30TH...THE CENTRAL VIRGINIA PIEDMONT AND NORTHEASTERN
NORTH CAROLINA AS BEING UNUSUALLY MOIST. THE REMAINDER OF THE HSA
IS DEPICTED IN THE NORMAL RANGE FOR SOIL MOISTURE AT THIS TIME OF
THE YEAR.

THE CPC SOIL MOISTURE MONITOR...WHICH LOOKS MORE AT TOP SOIL
MOISTURE...SHOWS NEAR NORMAL SOIL WETNESS CONDITIONS ACROSS THE
DELMARVA. FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE AREA...A MOISTURE SURPLUS OF
20 - 40 MM IS SHOWN WITH THE HIGHEST VALUES ACROSS SOUTHERN
VIRGINIA AND PORTIONS NORTHEASTERN NORTH CAROLINA.

GROUND WATER - NEAR NORMAL TO MUCH ABOVE NORMAL LEVELS.

GROUND WATER LEVELS ACROSS THE HSA CONTINUE TO BE DEPICTED IN THE
NORMAL TO ABOVE NORMAL RANGE. GAGES CONTINUE TO SHOW THAT WITH
EACH PRECIPITATION EVENT THAT THE GROUND WATER RECHARGE CONTINUES
AS STRONG RISES IN WATER LEVELS ARE DEPICTED.

RESERVOIRS - AVERAGE TO ABOVE NORMAL POOL LEVELS

WITH THE RAINFALL THAT HAS OCCURRED FROM THE FALL THROUGH THE
WINTER MONTHS...AREA RESERVOIRS RANGE FROM NORMAL TO ABOVE NORMAL
POOL LEVELS.

FUTURE WEATHER - FOR THE NEXT 7 DAYS THROUGH THURSDAY FEBRUARY
11TH...THERE IS A CHANCE FOR LIGHT RAIN OR SNOW THURSDAY NIGHT
THROUGH MIDDAY FRIDAY AS A COASTAL LOW SLIDES NORTHEAST ALONG THE
COAST AND EVENTUALLY OUT TO SEA. ANOTHER COASTAL LOW IS EXPECTED
TO DEVELOP ON SUNDAY AND COULD BRING SOME PRECIPITATION TO THE
COASTAL AREAS OF THE CAROLINAS AND VIRGINIA TIDEWATER. A THIRD
COASTAL LOW...EXPECTED TO DEVELOP FROM A STRONG LOW THAT WILL MOVE
FROM THE GREAT LAKES INTO THE OHIO VALLEY COULD BRING MORE WINTRY
PRECIPITATION MONDAY NIGHT INTO TUESDAY. COLD WEATHER IS EXPECTED
TO RETURN BEHIND THIS SYSTEM FROM TUESDAY NIGHT THROUGH THURSDAY

IN THE 8 TO 14 DAY PERIOD...FROM FEBRUARY 11TH - 17TH...THE
OUTLOOK IS FOR NEAR NORMAL TEMPERATURES...AND FOR BELOW NORMAL
PRECIPITATION.

LASTLY FOR THE 3 MONTH OUTLOOK FOR FEBRUARY THROUGH
APRIL...PRECIPITATION IS EXPECT TO BE ABOVE NORMAL FOR THE
3 MONTH PERIOD WITH TEMPERATURES AVERAGING OUT AT NORMAL TO ABOVE
NORMAL LEVELS.

THE RIVER FLOOD POTENTIAL OUTLOOK THROUGH FEBRUARY 18 2016 ACROSS
THE WAKEFIELD HSA IS ABOVE NORMAL. AGAIN REMEMBER THAT HEAVY
RAINFALL IS THE MOST COMMON CAUSE OF RIVER FLOODING IN THE MID-
ATLANTIC STATES...HOWEVER RIVER FLOODING CAN BE EXASPERATED WHEN
HEAVY RAIN IS COMBINED WITH SNOWMELT.

THE NEXT REGULARLY SCHEDULED UPDATE OF THE WINTER/SPRING FLOOD
OUTLOOK WILL BE THURSDAY FEBRUARY 18 2016...UNLESS CONDITIONS
WARRANT AN ADDITIONAL UPDATE.

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


$$

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