Flood Potential Outlook
Issued by NWS Wakefield, VA

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FGUS71 KAKQ 211955

Winter/Spring Flood Potential Outlook
National Weather Service WAKEFIELD VA
355 PM EDT Thu Mar 21 2019

...Sixth Winter/Spring Flood Outlook for 2019...

...River Flood Potential is average to above average through
April 4st...

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 2 PM
Thursday March 21 2019:

Current flooding - No rivers are currently in flood as of 2 PM
Thursday March 21 2019. Rivers are rising and several are forecast
to reach action stage levels in the next 24 to 48 hours.

Recent precipitation - Over the last 30 days from February 20, 2019
to March 21 2019, the precipitation has ranged from 4" to 7". These
totals ranged from near normal to as much as 3" above normal.

Looking back to the beginning of the water year, October 1 2018
through March 21 2019, the rain totals generally range from 18"-
25" (near normal +/-2" to 4" above normal) from the Virginia
Tidewater into Northeastern North Carolina to 25" - 35" (2" - 10"
above normal) for the remainder of the area. The highest reported
total was from a CoCoRaHS reporter at Bishopville, MD with

Snow conditions - Currently there is no snow on the ground in the
Wakefield HSA.

River ice conditions - Currently there is no ice on area rivers.

Stream Flow Conditions - The 14 day average stream flows from March
7 to March 21 were near normal across the majority of the Wakefield
HSA. A few random sites still showing above normal flow values for
the two week period.

When looking at the real time flows as of 1 PM March 21th, the stream
flow values were in the normal to much above normal range for the
majority of the HSA. The rain that fell on the morning of the 21st has
pushed the gauges in the Piedmont into the above normal to much above
normal range while to the east the gauges were mainly in the normal
range for this time of year. Here are some real time stream flows as
of 1 PM March 21st:

PALMYRA VA 1570 CFS/ 793 CFS/198.0
CARTERSVILLE VA   10700 CFS/   9350 CFS/114.4
RICHMOND VA   11100 CFS/9450 CFS/117.4
    FARMVILLE VA1350 CFS/ 317 CFS/425.9
MATTOAX VA 918 CFS/ 847 CFS/108.4
MATOACA VA1480 CFS/1620 CFS/ 91.4
RAWLINGS VA 502 CFS/ 360 CFS/139.4
STONY CREEK VA 626 CFS/ 767 CFS/ 81.6
SEBRELL VA1320 CFS/2160 CFS/ 61.1
EMPORIA VA 794 CFS/ 839 CFS/ 94.6
FRANKLIN VA 646 CFS/ 959 CFS/ 67.4
BOWLING GREEN VA  296 CFS/ 347 CFS/ 85.3
WILLARDS MD  87 CFS/ 108 CFS/ 80.6
UNION NC 156 CFS/ 280 CFS/ 55.7

Soil Moisture Conditions - Normal to Above normal.

Soil moisture indicators including the Palmer Drought Severity
Index, which is used to infer deep soil moisture and long term
drought, shows that as of March 16,2019 the Wakefield HSA is
depicted as being very moist across all of Virginia, with the
Lower Maryland Eastern shore being unusually moist, and Northeastern
North Carolina with near normal deep soil moisture.

The CPC Soil Moisture Monitor, as of March 20th, which looks more
at top soil moisture, is showing generally wet conditions with
moisture surpluses ranging from around 20 mm along the coastal
areas of Virginia and North Carolina to as much as 80 mm in the
Virginia Piedmont. These values represent a drying of about 20 to
40 mm over the last two weeks.

Ground Water - Normal to Much above normal levels.

Ground water levels across the HSA are in the normal range along
the Interstate 64 Corridor from Richmond through Hampton Roads and
Northeast North Carolina. The rest of the Wakefield HSA is in the
above normal to much above normal range.

Reservoirs - Normal to Above normal pool levels

Most major reservoirs water storage are near normal to above
normal levels for this time of year.

Future Precipitation...

Rain showers will linger from Thursday night through Friday
morning with an additional 0.50" of rain possible. The next chance
for rain comes early next week a low pressure system slides from
the Central Plains into the Mid-Atlantic states. The second half
of next week looks dry.

The latest CPC 8 to 14 day outlook for March 28 - April 3 2019 is
indicating near normal temperatures and above normal
precipitation for the 7 day time period.

Lastly, for the 3 month outlook for April through June, the
precipitation forecast is for above normal conditions and for
temperatures the forecast is for above normal conditions.


The river flood potential through April 4 2019 across the
Wakefield HSA is near normal to above normal for this time of
year. Again, remember that heavy rainfall is the most common cause
of river flooding in the Mid-Atlantic States. However river
flooding can be exacerbated when heavy rain is combined with snow

This product represents the final update of the winter/spring
flood outlook for the 2019 winter/spring season...unless
conditions warrant an additional update. Otherwise, the next
outlook will be issued in early January 2020.

For additional weather or hydrologic information, please visit
our website at WWW.WEATHER.GOV/AKQ.


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