Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Sterling, VA

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AXUS71 KLWX 291437

Drought Information Statement
National Weather Service Baltimore MD/Washington DC
1037 AM EDT Thu Mar 29 2018


As of March 27th 2018, the U.S. Drought Monitor shows continued
improvement due to short term rainfall. Long term deficits still
exist which cause concern for groundwater supplies; however,
everything else has returned to normal.

D1 (Moderate Drought) conditions are now designated only for a
small portion of the area, including the District of Columbia,
parts of Montgomery and Prince Georges Counties in Maryland, and
parts of Fairfax County in Virginia, as well as all of Arlington
County and the cities of Falls Church and Alexandria.

Most of the rest of the Blue Ridge region, Virginia Piedmont, and
I-95 corridor between Baltimore and Washington is still
designated as D0 (Abnormally Dry) due to those long-term deficits
and groundwater recovery concerns.

Both the D1 and D0 designated areas have decreased since the last
statement in early March.

State and Local Declarations:
A Drought Watch has been declared by the Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality (DEQ) for the following counties: Albemarle,
Nelson, Culpeper, Greene, Madison, Orange, Rappahannock, and
Spotsylvania, as well as those on private or groundwater supply in
Loudoun, Fauquier, and Prince William Counties. All other Drought
Watches have been discontinued.

The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) has discontinued
the Drought Watch for all areas of Maryland.

Hydrologic Impacts:
Soil moisture has improved, and is now near normal in most of the
area, although it has fallen back below normal south of Washington

Groundwater levels have also made a significant recovery, and
recent rain and snowmelt with cooler than normal temperatures have
helped groundwater levels to continue to increase. Even the
groundwater well in Orange County, Virginia, which has been our
benchmark during the fall/winter dry spell, is now more than five
feet higher than it was at this time last year, and at its highest
level since late summer of 2016.

Although the first half of March was quite dry, unsettled weather
and the late-season snow event have helped return things closer to
normal again. The precipitation deficits are now all distant --
from the fall and early winter -- and are more of a concern for
groundwater than anything else. This does mean that prolonged dry
spells of more than a week do cause almost immediate decreases in
streamflow for streams fed by groundwater. However, as long as we
do not have another long dry stretch, concerns are decreasing.

Unsettled weather, with above normal precipitation and below
normal temperatures, is generally expected through at least mid-
April. This does not mean there won`t be dry or warm periods, but
the overall pattern favors continued cooler and wetter than normal

The 90 day outlook from the Climate Prediction Center
favors above normal precipitation through the end of June.

Streamflows are generally near normal to slightly below normal
across the area.

Streamflows are likely to fluctuate given the unsettled weather
pattern. With cooler than normal conditions, groundwater and soil
moisture may show improvement in the coming weeks.

The Drought Outlook calls for continued improvement.

Given that groundwater is the only lingering impact noted, and
only a small zone of D1 (Moderate Drought) remains, this will be
the final Drought Statement issued for this drought event. If
drought conditions begin to expand in area or worsen again,
issuance of drought statements will resume at that time.


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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