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March 17, 2017 March precipitation, both rain and snow/ice water
equivalent, has been heaviest in the Delmarva Peninsula and southeast
Virginia where amounts have been near to an inch or so above normal.
Precipitation in the rest of Maryland and much of the eastern
panhandle of West Virginia has been around normal. For the rest of
Virginia, amounts have been 1/2 to 1 inch below normal. Temperatures
have been near normal or a degree or two below. Over the past 90
days, precipitation has been 2 to 4 inches below except for areas in
western Maryland, the eastern panhandle of West Virginia, and even the
northern half of Delaware. Here, precipitation amounts have been near
normal. Over the past 6 months, the driest areas have been in central
Maryland into much of northern and central Virginia where
precipitation has been 4 to 8 inches below average.
As of March 17, western-most Maryland has 5 to 8 inches of snow on
the ground. The rest of Maryland (west of the Chesapeake Bay),
northern and western-most Virginia, and the eastern panhandle of West
Virginia have 1 to 3 inches on the ground. Little or no snow is the
ground elsewhere. The water equivalent of this snow (or the water in
the snowpack that will be released when the snow melts) is 1/2 to 1
inch where snow is on the ground. This amount of snow is, for the
most part, not hydrologically significant.
Current (March 17) streamflow data from the U.S. Geological Survey
shows that streamflows are much below normal except for the Delmarva
Peninsula and areas around the Chesapeake Bay where flows are near
normal. Groundwater levels are averaging mostly below normal.
The U.S. Drought Monitor from March 14 shows that southern Maryland
and northern Virginia in the vicinity of the District of Columbia are
in "Severe Drought." Central Maryland and much of northern and
central Virginia are in "Moderate Drought." This is an increase in
coverage in Virginia over the past week but a decrease in coverage for
Delaware and eastern Maryland.
"Severe Drought" means that crop or pasture losses are likely,
water shortages are common, and water restrictions may be imposed.
"Moderate Drought" means that some damage to crops and pastures is
possible. Streams, reservoirs, or wells are low with some water
shortages developing or imminent. And, voluntary water-use
restrictions are requested. For further information and a map of
drought areas, go to http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/
The state of Maryland has a "Drought Warning" in effect for central
and northeastern parts of the state. A "Drought Watch" is in effect
for areas east of the Chesapeake
The weather outlook through the end of March calls a fairly dry
start but then above average precipitation. Temperatures are expected
to be near or below normal. The NWS Climate Prediction Center's 30
day outlook for March calls for near average precipitation and above
average temperatures. The 90 day outlook for March through May calls
for near average precipitation and above average temperatures.
The outlook for water resources and water supplies is fair for the
Delmarva Peninsula and areas around the Chesapeake Bay. The outlook
is poor west of this area. A dry weather pattern has settled in.
There are currently no strong signs for prolonged stormy weather. So,
improvement remains unlikely in the upcoming weeks. Further degrading
is possible if this dry weather pattern continues as we head into
spring, when the usage of water typically increases.
Snow Pack Information
Winter/Spring Flood Outlook
Current Hydrologic Conditions
U.S. Geological Survey Real Time Data
Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service (AHPS)