January 16, 2018 So far in January, precipitation has been about
average plus or minus about 1/2 inch. January temperatures have been
very cold averaging 6 to almost 9 degrees below normal. Over the past
90 days, precipitation has been about 2 to over 5 inches below
Snow cover for mid-January is minimal with only an inch or two on
the ground in far western Maryland. But, a snowfall early in the
outlook period is expected to increase these numbers. For now, the
snow is not hydrologically significant.
Current (January 16) streamflow data from the U.S. Geological
Survey shows that streamflows are near or below normal. Groundwater
levels are below or much below normal.
The US Drought Monitor for January 11 shows that central Maryland
and northern, central, and southern Virginia are in Moderate Drought.
"Moderate Drought" means that some damage to crops and pastures can be
expected; streams, reservoirs, or wells will be running low; some
water shortages are developing or are imminent; and voluntary
water-use restrictions are requested.
The state of Virginia has a "Drought Watch" in effect for northern,
central, and southern parts of the
The weather outlook for the next couple of weeks calls for near or
above average precipitation. Temperatures are expected to start the
period below average but then moderate quickly to above normal. The
NWS Climate Prediction Center's 30 day outlook for January calls for
near average precipitation and below average temperatures. The 90 day
outlook for January 2018 through March 2018 calls for near average
precipitation and above average temperatures.
The outlook for water resources and water supplies is fair for
Delaware, Maryland, the eastern panhandle of West Virginia, and
Virginia. In the near term, only slow changes, if any, are expected.
Slow degradation remains possible should dry weather continue.