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October 10, 2019: October rainfall has been about average to an inch above in western Maryland, the eastern panhandle of West Virginia, and far western Virginia. Elsewhere, amounts are about an inch below normal where little or none has fallen. Temperatures are running 8 to 12 degrees above normal. Over the past 90 days, rainfall has been 1 to 3 inches below normal in far western Maryland, parts of the eastern panhandle of West Virginia, and parts of western Virginia. Elsewhere, rainfall is running 4 to over 7 inches below average.

Current (October 10) streamflow data from the U.S. Geological Survey shows that streamflows are near normal in western areas but below normal elsewhere. Groundwater levels are near or below normal.

The U.S. Drought Monitor for October 8 shows most areas (except western Maryland, the eastern panhandle of West Virginia, and west-central Virginia) are in “Moderate Drought.” This is an increase in coverage over the past couple of weeks. Scattered parts of central and southwestern Virginia are in “Severe Drought.”

”Moderate Drought” indicates that the corn yield is low, soybean and cotton crops are stressed, wildlife eat crops, fire danger increases, burn bans begin, voluntary water restrictions are requested, river water levels are lower, and streams are dry. “Severe Drought” means that hay and pasture supply is low; cattle are weaned early; producers are feeding livestock supplemental hay and baling corn for feed; fire frequency increases; mandatory water restrictions are implemented; reservoir levels are low; and water tables are dropping.

The weather outlook through the next couple of weeks calls for dry weather to start the period but then above average rainfall. Temperatures are expected to be near or above normal. The NWS Climate Prediction Center's 30 day outlook for October calls for below average precipitation and above normal temperatures. The 90 day outlook for October through December calls for above average precipitation and above average temperatures.

The outlook for water resources and water supplies is fair for the southern section of the MARFC service area. If below average rainfall continues (as currently expected in the short term) then further degradation in conditions may occur.

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