Flood Potential Outlook
Issued by NWS Wakefield, VA

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WINTER/SPRING FLOOD POTENTIAL OUTLOOK
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WAKEFIELD VA
100 PM EST THU FEB 19 2015

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

...RIVER FLOOD POTENTIAL NEAR NORMAL THROUGH MARCH 5TH...

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 11 AM
THURSDAY FEBRUARY 19TH.

RECENT PRECIPITATION - RECENT RAINFALL SINCE FEBRUARY 5 HAS BEEN
BETWEEN 1 - 2 INCHES FOR MOST OF THE HSA...WHICH IS GENERALLY NEAR NORMAL.
PORTIONS OF CHESTERFIELD...POWHATAN...AMELIA AND NOTTOWAY COUNTIES
RECEIVED 2 - 3 INCHES OF PRECIPITATION FOR THE HIGH FOR THE 2 WEEK
PERIOD AND THESE AMOUNTS WERE BETWEEN 0.50 - 1.0 INCHES ABOVE
NORMAL. SMALL PORTIONS OF THE DELMARVA SOUTHWARD THROUGH EASTERN
NORTH CAROLINA RECEIVED LESS RAIN OF 0.75 - 1.5 INCHES OF RAIN
WHICH RANGED FROM 0.50 - 1 INCH BELOW NORMAL FOR THE 2 WEEK PERIOD

WHEN LOOKING BACK AT THE LAST 30 DAY PERIOD...FROM JANUARY 20TH
THROUGH FEBRUARY 19TH...THE REGION RECEIVED ON AVERAGE 2 - 4
INCHES OF PRECIPITATION WHICH IS NEAR NORMAL FOR THIS TIME OF
YEAR. A FEW AREAS RECEIVED 4 - 5 INCHES WHICH WOULD RANGE FROM 1 -
2 INCHES ABOVE NORMAL. THESE AREAS INCLUDE PORTIONS OF
CHESTERFIELD...POWHATAN...AMELIA AND NOTTOWAY COUNTIES ALONG WITH
PARTS OF WORCESTER COUNTY MARYLAND. MEANWHILE...A FEW AREAS IN
SOUTHERN VIRGINIA FROM BRUNSWICK COUNTY THROUGH PETERSBURG AND
AREAS ALONG THE NORTH CAROLINA/VIRGINIA BORDER RECEIVED LESS
RAIN...1.5 - 2 INCHES WHICH PRODUCED DEFICITS OF 0.5 - 1.5 INCHES
FOR THE 30 DAY PERIOD.

LASTLY...LOOKING BACK TO THE BEGINNING OF THE WATER YEAR...WHICH
BEGINS ON OCTOBER 1ST...MOST AREAS HAVE RECEIVED BETWEEN 13 - 19
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.

WITH THE ADDITIONAL RAINFALL OVER THE LAST 5 MONTHS...WITH THE
RAINFALL GENERALLY EITHER NORMAL OR ABOVE NORMAL FOR MOST PORTIONS
OF THE CWA...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 - CURRENTLY...THERE IS 2 - 5 INCHES SNOW ON THE GROUND
ACROSS THE HSA FROM THE STORM EARLIER THIS WEEK. WITH IN THIS SNOW
PACK...A LIQUID EQUIVALENT OF 0.50 - 1 INCH IS IN THE SNOW PACK.

RIVER ICE - CURRENTLY...THERE IS SOME THIN ICING ON AREA
RIVERS...MAINLY ALONG THE RIVERS EDGE AND STILL COVES. THE
NORTHERN PORTION OF THE BLACKWATER RIVER HAS A THIN ICING ACROSS
MOST OF THE RIVER.  AT THIS POINT...THERE IS NO IMPACT TO STREAM
FLOWS FROM THE ICING.

STREAM FLOW CONDITIONS - VARY ACROSS THE WAKEFIELD HSA.

THE 14 DAY AVERAGE FLOWS ACROSS THE WAKEFIELD HSA WERE MUCH
DIFFERENT THAN THE LAST OUTLOOK 2 WEEKS AGO AS MANY LOCATIONS ARE
REPORTING BELOW NORMAL TO MUCH BELOW NORMAL AVERAGE FLOWS.
NASSAWANGO CREEK IN MARYLAND IS REPORTING BELOW NORMAL FLOW, WHILE
THE REMAINDER OF THE LOWER MARYLAND EASTERN SHORE IS STILL IN THE
NEAR NORMAL RANGE. ACROSS EASTERN VIRGINIA...THE YORK...JAMES AND
APPOMATTOX BASINS ARE ALL SHOWING BELOW TO MUCH BELOW AVERAGE
FLOWS. THE CHOWAN BASIN HOWEVER IS STILL MAINLY IN THE NORMAL
RANGE...BUT NORTHERN PORTIONS OF THE BASIN HAVE DROPPED TO BELOW
NORMAL VALUES. IN NORTH CAROLINA...THE 14 DAY AVERAGE FLOWS ARE
STILL NEAR NORMAL.

SIMILARLY...THE REAL TIME FLOWS FOR THURSDAY AFTERNOON...FEBRUARY
19TH...ARE ALSO SHOWING BELOW NORMAL FLOWS FOR THE MAJORITY OF THE
YORK...JAMES AND APPOMATTOX BASINS. THE CHOWAN BASIN IS SHOWING
NORMAL FLOWS FOR THE MEHERRIN AND NOTTOWAY RIVERS...BUT THE
BLACKWATER RIVER GAGES ARE SHOWING REAL TIME FLOWS IN THE BELOW
NORMAL RANGE. LASTLY THE MARYLAND RIVER GAGES ARE SHOWING NEAR
NORMAL FLOWS...EXCEPT FOR NASSAWANGO CREEK AND THE POCOMOKE RIVER
WHERE FLOWS ARE BELOW NORMAL. PART OF THE REASON FOR THE LOW
STREAM FLOWS IN VIRGINIA IS THE LATEST PRECIPITATION IS LOCKED INTO THE SNOW
PACK AND HAD NOT RUN OFF INTO AREA RIVERS. ALSO...THE GROUND WATER
FLOWS ARE LOWER ACROSS CENTRAL AND NORTHERN VIRGINIA SO THE GROUND
WATER IS NOT ABLE TO SUSTAIN THE STREAM FLOWS WITH OUT ROUTINE RAINFALL.

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   459CFS      663CFS/ 69.2
JAMES RIVER/CARTERSVILLE VA  3148CFS     7580CFS/ 41.5
JAMES RIVER/RICHMOND VA  4572CFS     7810CFS/ 58.5
APPOMATTOX RIVER/FARMVILLE VA   195CFS     292CFS/ 66.8
APPOMATTOX RIVER/MATTOAX VA   497CFS      751CFS/ 66.2
APPOMATTOX RIVER/MATOACA VA   378CFS            1420CFS/ 26.6
NOTTOWAY RIVER/RAWLINGS VA   125CFS      366CFS/ 34.2
NOTTOWAY RIVER/STONY CREEK VA   387CFS      720CFS/ 53.8
NOTTOWAY RIVER/SEBRELL VA   771CFS     2380CFS/ 32.4
MEHERRIN RIVER/EMPORIA VA   483CFS      728CFS/ 66.3
BLACKWATER RIVER/FRANKLIN VA   431CFS     1070CFS/ 40.3
MATTAPONI RIVER/BOWLING GREEN VA   79CFS      271CFS/ 29.2
MATTAPONI RIVER/BEULAHVILLE VA   262CFS      746CFS/ 35.1
POCOMOKE RIVER/ WILLARDS MD    40CFS       92CFS/ 43.5
POTECASI CREEK/UNION NC   117CFS      387CFS/ 62.6

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 14TH...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 VIRGINIA AND MARYLAND...WHILE NORTHEASTERN NORTH
CAROLINA IS SHOWING POSITIVE ANOMALIES FOR 20 TO 60 MM...AS OF
FEBRUARY 18TH.

GROUND WATER - MUCH BELOW NORMAL TO ABOVE NORMAL LEVELS.

GROUND WATER WELL LEVELS CONTINUE TO VARY ACROSS THE REGION AND
COMPARE FAVORABLY TO THE LONGER TERM PRECIPITATION PATTERN...AS
THE EFFECTS OF THE DRY SUMMER AND FALL ARE STILL NOTICEABLE.
THE GROUND WATER WELLS IN WESTMORELAND...EASTERN HENRICO AND
BUCKINGHAM COUNTIES...WHICH HAD BE SHOWING AN UPWARD TREND IN
WATER LEVELS AT THE END OF JANUARY...ARE NOW SHOWING EITHER LEVEL
TRENDS OR ACTUALLY FALLING WATER LEVELS IN THE LAST TWO WEEKS. SO
THE RECHARGE THAT HAD BEGUN TO OCCUR ACROSS NORTHERN AND CENTRAL
VIRGINIA APPEARS TO HAVE STALLED. ADDITIONAL PRECIPITATION WILL BE
NEEDED TO GET THE RECHARGE STARTED AGAIN. FURTHER SOUTH IN
SOUTHEASTERN VIRGINIA AND NORTHEAST NORTH CAROLINA...THE
GROUNDWATER GAGES ARE IN THE 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 FEBRUARY 26TH...THE
PERIOD BEGINS WITH COLD AND DRY WEATHER WITH ARCTIC HIGH PRESSURE
MOVING OVER THE AREA. THE AREA OF HIGH PRESSURE WILL SLIDE OFF THE
COAST FOR THE WEEKEND AS THE NEXT STORM SYSTEM SLIDES ACROSS THE
TENNESSEE AND OHIO RIVER VALLEYS. THIS SYSTEM COULD BRING A MIX OF
WINTRY PRECIPITATION CHANGING TO ALL RAIN BY SATURDAY NIGHT INTO
SUNDAY. THE HEAVIEST AMOUNTS ARE EXPECTED TO FALL OVER THE
NORTHWESTERN PIEDMONT COUNTIES. LIQUID PRECIPITATION AMOUNTS OF
0.50 - 1 INCH ARE POSSIBLE BEFORE THE SYSTEM CLEARS THE AREA
SUNDAY NIGHT. COLD HIGH PRESSURE RETURNS FOR MONDAY AND TUESDAY.
THE NEXT CHANCE FOR PRECIPITATION WOULD COME ON WEDNESDAY AS THE
COMBINATION OF A COLD FRONT FROM THE WEST AND DEVELOPING LOW OFF
THE COAST PROVIDE A CHANCE FOR MORE WINTRY WEATHER.
HOWEVER...CONFIDENCE IN THAT SYSTEM IS LOW AT THIS TIME.

IN THE 8 TO 14 DAY PERIOD...FROM FEBRUARY 26TH - MARCH 5TH...THE
OUTLOOK IS FOR BELOW 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 5 2015...

THE RIVER FLOOD POTENTIAL ACROSS THE WAKEFIELD HYDROLOGIC SERVICE
AREA IS NEAR 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 5 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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