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NCC005-009-033-157-169-171-189-193-197-VAC005-009-011-017-019-021-
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161-163-173-185-197-530-580-590-640-678-680-690-750-770-775-
WVC025-055-063-089-311845-

WINTER/SPRING FLOOD POTENTIAL OUTLOOK
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BLACKSBURG VA
140 PM EST FRI JAN 24 2020

...WINTER/SPRING FLOOD OUTLOOK...NUMBER 1

...RIVER FLOOD POTENTIAL SLIGHTLY ABOVE AVERAGE...

EACH WINTER AND EARLY SPRING, THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE OFFICE
IN BLACKSBURG ISSUES A SERIES OF ROUTINE FLOOD POTENTIAL 
OUTLOOKS. THESE OUTLOOKS ESTIMATE THE POTENTIAL FOR RIVER FLOODING
(NOT FLASH FLOODING) ACROSS THE BLACKSBURG OFFICE`S HYDROLOGIC 
SERVICE AREA (HSA). THE HSA INCLUDES 40 COUNTIES COVERING PARTS OF
SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA, FAR NORTHWEST NORTH CAROLINA AND FAR 
SOUTHEAST WEST VIRGINIA. MAJOR RIVER BASINS IN THE HSA INCLUDE ALL
OR PARTS OF THE NEW, GREENBRIER, TENNESSEE, JAMES, ROANOKE, DAN, 
AND YADKIN. THIS OUTLOOK IS BASED ON THE CURRENT ASSESSMENT OF 
HYDROMETEOROLOGICAL FACTORS WHICH CONTRIBUTE TO RIVER FLOODING. 
THESE FACTORS INCLUDE, BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO, RECENT 
PRECIPITATION, SOIL MOISTURE, SNOW COVER AND SNOW WATER 
EQUIVALENT, STREAM FLOWS, RIVER ICE AND EXPECTED FUTURE WEATHER 
CONDITIONS.

IN THIS PART OF THE SOUTHERN APPALACHIAN AND MID-ATLANTIC REGION,
HEAVY RAINFALL IS THE PRIMARY FACTOR THAT LEADS TO RIVER 
FLOODING. HEAVY RAINFALL CAN RAPIDLY CAUSE RIVER FLOODING AT ANY 
TIME OF THE YEAR, EVEN WHEN OVERALL RIVER FLOOD POTENTIAL IS 
CONSIDERED LOW. SNOWMELT CAN CONTRIBUTE TO THE FLOODING AS IT DID
DRAMATICALLY IN JANUARY 1996, WHEN RAIN ON TOP OF RAPID SNOWMELT 
PRODUCED RECORD FLOODING THROUGHOUT PARTS OF THE MID-ATLANTIC 
REGION, INCLUDING THE GREENBRIER RIVER.

FLOOD POTENTIAL OUTLOOK:
FOR THE BLACKSBURG HSA, THE RIVER FLOOD POTENTIAL IS SLIGHTLY
ABOVE NORMAL FOR THE NEXT TWO WEEKS (THROUGH FEBRUARY 6TH) BASED
PRIMARILY ON THE POTENTIAL FOR HEAVY RAIN WITH THE STORM SYSTEM 
PASSING ACROSS THE MID-ATLANTIC TODAY AND TONIGHT. THIS STORM WILL
BRING MAINLY RAIN TO THE HSA IN THE NEXT 24 HOURS WITH 
PRECIPITATION TOTALS RANGING AROUND 1.75 TO 2.50 INCHES ALONG THE 
CREST AND FOOTHILLS OF THE BLUE RIDGE. LESSER PRECIPITATION 
AMOUNTS OF 1.00 TO 1.75 INCHES ARE EXPECTED FOR THE PIEDMONT, AS 
WELL AS PORTIONS OF WESTERN VIRGINIA AND EXTREME SOUTHEAST WEST 
VIRGINIA. SEVERAL RIVERS ARE FORECAST TO RISE ABOVE ACTION STAGE 
BUT REMAIN BELOW MINOR FLOOD STAGE. THIS INCLUDES PORTIONS THE 
DAN, ROANOKE, GREENBRIER AND JAMES RIVERS.

THEREAFTER, MINOR STORM SYSTEMS WILL BRING ONLY MODEST 
PRECIPITATION AMOUNTS TO THE HSA THROUGH THE REMAINDER OF 
THE OUTLOOK PERIOD.

CURRENT FLOODING: 
THERE IS NO FLOODING OCCURRING OR FORECAST AT THIS TIME, ALTHOUGH
AS NOTED ABOVE THERE WILL BE SOME SHARP WITHIN-BANK RISES.

RECENT PRECIPITATION: 
SO FAR THIS JANUARY, PRECIPITATION AMOUNTS HAVE RANGED FROM 3.00 
TO 4.50 INCHES FOR THE HIGHLANDS AND FOOTHILLS OF NORTHERN NORTH 
CAROLINA, WHILE THE REMAINDER OF THE HSA HAS OBSERVED 1.50 TO 3.00
INCHES. THESE VALUES ARE NEAR TO SLIGHTLY BELOW NORMAL FOR THIS 
TIME OF THE MONTH.

PRECIPITATION AMOUNTS FOR DECEMBER 2019 WERE GREATEST ALONG THE 
CREST AND FOOTHILLS OF THE BLUE RIDGE IN NORTHERN NORTH CAROLINA, 
WHERE BETWEEN 5 AND 6 INCHES (WITH LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS) WERE 
OBSERVED ACROSS THE HEADWATERS OF THE NEW AND YADKIN RIVERS, 
RANGING FROM 125 TO 175 PERCENT OF NORMAL. PRECIPITATION AMOUNTS 
INTO VIRGINIA AND WEST VIRGINIA, INCLUDING THE DAN, ROANOKE, 
JAMES, AND BLUESTONE RIVERS WERE OBSERVED BETWEEN 2.5 AND 4 
INCHES, EQUATING TO GENERALLY ANYWHERE BETWEEN 75 AND 125 PERCENT
OF NORMAL. MEAN DECEMBER PRECIPITATION WAS 3.32 INCHES. SINGLE- 
STATION TOTALS RANGED FROM A LOW OF 2.13 INCHES MEASURED AT 
KEYSVILLE VA, TO A HIGH OF 6.34 INCHES AT BOONE NC.

NOVEMBER WAS DRIER ACROSS THE REGION OVERALL, WITH 3 TO 4 INCHES 
OBSERVED ACROSS THE UPPER NEW RIVER BASIN, AS WELL AS THE 
HEADWATERS OF THE CLINCH AND HOLSTON RIVERS. ALSO, 2 TO 3 INCHES 
OF WAS OBSERVED ELSEWHERE. PRECIPITATION AMOUNTS OVERALL RANGED 
FROM 50 TO 90 PERCENT OF NORMAL, WITH LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS. 
MEAN PRECIPITATION WAS 2.59 INCHES. 

DROUGHT:
NO DROUGHT CONDITIONS ARE CURRENTLY OBSERVED OR EXPECTED TO 
DEVELOP THROUGH FEBRUARY 6TH WITHIN THE HSA.

PLEASE VISIT THE WWW.DROUGHTMONITOR.UNL.EDU/ FOR ACCESS TO THE 
DROUGHT MAPS AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION.S GENERALLY CONFINED TO WESTERN GREENBRIER COUNTY, 
WHERE AN INCH OR LESS COVERS THE GROUND. 

SNOW COVER: 
SNOW COVER IS GENERALLY CONFINED TO WESTERN GREENBRIER COUNTY, 
WHERE AN INCH OR LESS COVERS THE GROUND. 

PLEASE VISIT WWW.NOHRSC.NOAA.GOV FOR DETAILED INFORMATION ON SNOW
COVER AND SNOW WATER EQUIVALENT.

RIVER ICE: 
THERE IS NO RIVER ICE ANYWHERE IN THE HSA AT THIS TIME.

STREAMFLOW:
USGS REAL-TIME AVERAGE STREAMFLOWS AT 7, 14 AND 28-DAY DURATIONS 
ARE ALL INDICATING GENERALLY NORMAL FLOWS, WITH A FEW EXCEPTIONS 
ACROSS THE HSA WHICH ARE SLIGHTLY ABOVE OR BELOW NORMAL.

FOR MORE DETAILED INFORMATION ON STREAMFLOW CONDITIONS SEE THE 
USGS WATERWATCH WEBSITE: 
HTTPS://WATERWATCH.USGS.GOV

SOIL MOISTURE: 
SOIL MOISTURE ANALYSES FROM THE CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER (CPC)
INDICATE NEAR-NORMAL SOIL MOISTURE GENERALLY ALONG AND WEST OF THE 
BLUE RIDGE INTO THE PIEDMONT OF NORTH CAROLINA, WHILE DEFICITS OF 
UP TO AN INCH ARE OBSERVED ACROSS THE PIEDMONT OF VIRGINIA, MORE 
SO NORTH OF HIGHWAY 460. 

FOR ADDITIONAL SOIL MOISTURE INFORMATION SEE: 
HTTP://WWW.CPC.NCEP.NOAA.GOV

RESERVOIRS: 
MAJOR WATER SUPPLY RESERVOIRS INCLUDING JOHN H. KERR, W. KERR
SCOTT, PHILPOTT LAKE, LAKE MOOMAW, SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE, AND THE
WESTERN VA WATER AUTHORITY RESERVOIRS NEAR ROANOKE ARE NEAR FULL
CAPACITY AND GUIDE CURVES WHERE APPLICABLE.

FUTURE WEATHER CONDITIONS: 
QUANTITATIVE PRECIPITATION FORECASTS (QPF) FROM THE WEATHER
PREDICTION CENTER (WPC) OVER THE NEXT 7 DAYS (THROUGH 7 AM FRIDAY,
JANUARY 31ST) INDICATE AMOUNTS RANGING FROM 1.75 TO 2.50 INCHES
ALONG THE CREST AND FOOTHILLS OF THE BLUE RIDGE. LESSER
PRECIPITATION AMOUNTS OF 1.00 TO 1.75 INCHES ARE EXPECTED FOR THE
PIEDMONT, AS WELL AS PORTIONS OF WESTERN VIRGINIA AND EXTREME
SOUTHEAST WEST VIRGINIA. MOST OF THIS PRECIPITATION WILL FALL AS 
RAIN.

WPC QPF IS UPDATED FREQUENTLY AND IS AVAILABLE AT: 
WWW.WPC.NCEP.NOAA.GOV/#PAGE=QPF

THE LONGER TERM OUTLOOKS FOR THE 6 TO 10 AND 8 TO 14 DAY PERIODS 
THROUGH FEBRUARY 6TH INDICATE BOTH TEMPERATURES AND PRECIPITATION ARE 
EXPECTED TO BE SLIGHTLY ABOVE NORMAL ACROSS THE HSA.

PROBABILISTIC/ENSEMBLE RIVER FORECASTS: 
THE METEOROLOGICAL MODEL ENSEMBLE RIVER FORECASTS (MMEFS) VALID
THROUGH ABOUT JANUARY 30 INDICATE SOME RIVERS WILL RISE TO NEAR 
BANKFULL DUE TO RAINFALL ON JANUARY 24-25, BUT OTHERWISE LITTLE 
POTENTIAL FOR RIVER FLOODING THROUGH THE PERIOD.

ENSEMBLE RIVER FORECASTS (MMEFS) ARE AVAILABLE AT: 
WWW.WEATHER.GOV/ERH/MMEFS

SUMMARY:
THE RIVER FLOOD POTENTIAL IS SLIGHTLY ABOVE NORMAL THROUGH THE 
OUTLOOK PERIOD, BASED ON CURRENT CONDITIONS AND FORECASTS.

NEXT ISSUANCE:
THE NEXT SCHEDULED WINTER/SPRING FLOOD POTENTIAL OUTLOOK WILL BE
ISSUED ON THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2020. AN OUTLOOK MAY BE ISSUED 
BEFORE THEN IF CONDITIONS WARRANT.

FOR ADDITIONAL HYDROLOGIC OR WEATHER INFORMATION, VISIT OUR
WEBSITE AT WEATHER.GOV/BLACKSBURG.


$$

NF/PC

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