807  
AXUS71 KLWX 171309  
DGTLWX  
DCC001-MDC003-005-009-013-017-021-025-027-031-033-037-043-510-  
VAC003-013-015-043-047-059-061-069-079-099-107-113-125-137-139-  
153-157-165-171-177-179-187-510-540-600-610-630-660-683-685-790-  
820-840-WVC003-037-242300-  
 
DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT  
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON DC  
908 AM EDT THU OCT 17 2019  
   
..DROUGHT CONDITIONS WORSEN BUT RECENT RAIN MAY HELP
 
 
SYNOPSIS...  
SHORT-TERM DROUGHT CONDITIONS HAVE CONTINUED TO WORSEN DURING THE  
FIRST HALF OF OCTOBER AS DRY CONDITIONS PERSIST, EVEN THOUGH  
SIGNIFICANT LATE SEASON HEAT CAME TO AN END.  
 
THE UNITED STATES DROUGHT MONITOR (USDM) VALID ON TUESDAY,  
OCTOBER 15TH, 2019, AND RELEASED ON THURSDAY, OCTOBER 17TH,  
INDICATES DROUGHT CONDITIONS HAD WORSENED. SEVERE DROUGHT (D2) IS  
NOW INDICATED IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA; PORTIONS OF THE  
FOLLOWING COUNTIES IN VIRGINIA: FAIRFAX, ARLINGTON, LOUDOUN,  
FAUQUIER, CULPEPER, STAFFORD, ORANGE, AND SPOTSYLVANIA, AS WELL AS  
THE CITIES OF FAIRFAX, FALLS CHURCH, AND ALEXANDRIA; AND ACROSS A  
LARGE PORTION OF MARYLAND, INCLUDING ALL OF PRINCE GEORGE'S, ANNE  
ARUNDEL AND CALVERT COUNTIES, AS WELL AS PORTIONS OF BALTIMORE  
CITY AND BALTIMORE, HARFORD, CARROLL, HOWARD, MONTGOMERY, CHARLES,  
AND SAINT MARY'S COUNTIES. MODERATE DROUGHT (D1) IS NOW INDICATED  
IN ROUGHLY ALL OTHER AREAS EAST OF INTERSTATE 81. ABNORMALLY DRY  
(D0) CONDITIONS ARE INDICATED ROUGHLY ALONG AND WEST OF  
INTERSTATE 81.  
 
THE FIRST SUBSTANTIAL RAIN IN SOME AREAS IN NEARLY TWO MONTHS FELL  
ON WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 16TH. WIDESPREAD RAIN OF ONE TO TWO INCHES  
WAS OBSERVED THROUGHOUT MUCH OF THE REGION. THIS RAIN OCCURRED  
AFTER THE ANALYSIS TIME OF THE USDM REFERENCED ABOVE, SO ANY  
CHANGES TO DROUGHT STATUS AS A RESULT OF THIS RAIN WILL BE  
REFLECTED IN NEXT WEEK'S USDM.  
 
DESPITE THIS RAIN, MOST LOCATIONS ARE STILL BELOW NORMAL FOR THE  
MONTH OF OCTOBER THROUGH THE 16TH, AND DEFICITS SINCE SEPTEMBER  
1ST ARE STILL CLOSE TO FOUR INCHES; WITH RAINFALL JUST AROUND A  
THIRD OF WHAT IS TYPICAL FOR THAT ROUGHLY MONTH-AND-A-HALF PERIOD.  
 
SUMMARY OF IMPACTS...  
IMPACTS HAVE CONTINUED TO QUICKLY BUILD AS A RESULT OF THE  
EXCESSIVELY DRY CONDITIONS AND EARLIER LATE SEASON HEAT. EARLY  
IMPACTS OCCURRED TO LAWNS AND GARDENS, WHICH BROWNED IN SEPTEMBER  
IF NOT WATERED. SOIL MOISTURE ALSO TOOK A SUBSTANTIAL HIT, BUT HAS  
STARTED TO RECOVER WEST OF THE BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAINS. ANALYSIS  
FROM MULTIPLE SENSORS INDICATES SOIL MOISTURE IS ONLY SLIGHTLY  
BELOW NORMAL WEST OF INTERSTATE 81, BUT TO THE EAST RANKINGS ARE  
BELOW THE 10TH PERCENTILE FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR ESPECIALLY IN THE  
DC METRO AREA AND SOUTHERN MARYLAND.  
 
AGRICULTURAL INTERESTS ARE REPORTING DROUGHT-RELATED STRESSES ON  
PASTURES AND HAYFIELDS, AS WELL AS CROP STRESS TO SOYBEANS,  
PUMPKINS, AND OTHER LATE-PLANTED GRAINS. OTHER CROPS SUCH AS CORN  
AND APPLES ARE REPORTED TO BE FARING WELL, WITH SOME CROPS  
ACTUALLY BETTER THAN LAST YEAR SINCE LAST YEAR WAS SO WET. THE DRY  
CONDITIONS ARE HELPING FARMERS DURING THE HARVEST PERIOD AS LONG  
AS THE CROPS ARE IN GOOD SHAPE.  
 
STREAMFLOWS REMAIN BELOW NORMAL -- AND NORMAL IN SEPTEMBER AND  
OCTOBER IS USUALLY THE LOWEST POINT OF THE YEAR ANYWAY. THE RAIN  
ON OCTOBER 16TH DID INCREASE STREAMFLOWS SLIGHTLY.  
 
GROUNDWATER -- USUALLY THE LAST THING TO RESPOND BOTH GOING INTO  
A DROUGHT AND COMING OUT OF A DROUGHT -- IS LIVING UP TO THAT  
REPUTATION. SHALLOWER AQUIFERS HAVE TURNED BELOW NORMAL QUICKLY  
OVER THE PAST FEW WEEKS; BUT DEEPER GROUNDWATER STORAGE IS STILL  
AT OR ABOVE WHAT IS TYPICAL FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR.  
 
THE STATE OF VIRGINIA REPORTED THAT WILDFIRES DURING THE MONTH OF  
SEPTEMBER WERE MORE LIKE A TYPICAL OCTOBER, AND 35 WILDFIRES WERE  
REPORTED IN THE STATE IN THE FIRST 10 DAYS OF OCTOBER.  
 
DROUGHT MITIGATION ACTIONS...  
ON OCTOBER 3RD, THE GOVERNOR OF WEST VIRGINIA DECLARED A STATE OF  
EMERGENCY THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE STATE DUE TO DROUGHT CONDITIONS.  
THE STATE OF EMERGENCY IS IN EFFECT UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.  
 
ON OCTOBER 11TH, THE GOVERNOR OF VIRGINIA DECLARED A DROUGHT WATCH  
FOR THE ENTIRE STATE DUE TO THE DRY CONDITIONS.  
 
AT THE TIME OF THIS STATEMENT (OCTOBER 17TH, 2019) THERE WERE NO  
OTHER DROUGHT DECLARATIONS BY THE STATES IN OUR SERVICE AREA.  
 
ON OCTOBER 8TH, A BURN BAN WAS DECLARED FOR NELSON COUNTY,  
VIRGINIA. THE BURN BAN EXPIRES IN 60 DAYS UNLESS RE-ADOPTED.  
 
THE STATEWIDE BURN BAN THAT WAS IN PLACE FOR WEST VIRGINIA WAS  
LIFTED ON OCTOBER 9TH. TYPICAL FALL BURN SEASON REGULATIONS REMAIN  
IN PLACE, WHICH PERMIT ATTENDED BURNING BETWEEN 5PM AND 7AM DAILY.  
 
ELSEWHERE, OTHER LOCAL BURN BAN LAWS OR DECLARATIONS MAY APPLY.  
ALWAYS CONSULT WITH LOCAL OFFICIALS PRIOR TO ATTEMPTING AN OPEN  
BURN.  
 
VOLUNTARY WATER RESTRICTIONS HAVE BEEN RECOMMENDED BY THE TOWN OF  
STRASBURG PER THEIR DROUGHT RESPONSE PLAN. OTHERWISE, NO WATER  
RESTRICTIONS HAVE BEEN REPORTED TO THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE  
AS OF THE TIME OF THIS STATEMENT. HOWEVER, THE INTERSTATE  
COMMISSION ON THE POTOMAC RIVER BASIN (ICPRB) IS ACTIVELY  
MONITORING STREAMFLOWS ON THE POTOMAC RIVER FOR WATER SUPPLY  
PURPOSES.  
 
LOCAL DROUGHT OUTLOOK...  
THERE APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN A PATTERN CHANGE, ALLOWING FOR MORE  
REGULAR RAINFALL CHANCES ACROSS THE REGION AT LEAST IN THE SHORT  
TERM. A SYSTEM CURRENTLY (ON OCTOBER 17TH) BEING MONITORED IN THE  
GULF OF MEXICO IS EXPECTED TO MOVE NORTHEAST ALONG THE ATLANTIC  
COAST, BRINGING RAIN CHANCES THIS WEEKEND. AT THIS TIME, TOTAL  
RAIN LOOKS TO BE UNDER AN INCH. A SECOND SYSTEM IS EXPECTED TO  
MOVE INTO THE REGION TOWARD THE MIDDLE OF NEXT WEEK (TUESDAY 10/22  
OR WEDNESDAY 10/23). HEAVIER RAIN IS POSSIBLE WITH THIS SYSTEM,  
PERHAPS OVER AN INCH.  
 
THE CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER'S OUTLOOK FOR OCTOBER 24TH THROUGH  
30TH FAVORS ABOVE NORMAL PRECIPITATION. THE LONGER RANGE OUTLOOKS  
THROUGH JANUARY 2020 INDICATE EQUAL CHANCES OF ABOVE, BELOW, OR  
NEAR NORMAL PRECIPITATION, BUT DO FAVOR IMPROVEMENT IN DROUGHT  
CONDITIONS.  
 
NEXT ISSUANCE DATE...  
DUE TO THE SEVERE DROUGHT CONDITIONS NOW INDICATED IN THE AREA,  
THIS PRODUCT WILL BE UPDATED WEEKLY. THE NEXT UPDATE WILL BE ON  
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 24TH.  
 

 
 
RELATED WEB SITES...  
THIS STATEMENT, AND GRAPHICAL INFORMATION RELATED TO IT, CAN BE  
FOUND AT HTTP://WEATHER.GOV/WASHINGTON/DROUGHT, WITH GRAPHICS  
THAT UPDATE FREQUENTLY.  
 
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON CURRENT DROUGHT CONDITIONS MAY BE FOUND  
AT THE FOLLOWING WEB ADDRESSES:  
 
US DROUGHT MONITOR:  
HTTP://DROUGHTMONITOR.UNL.EDU  
 
US DROUGHT INFORMATION SYSTEM:  
HTTP://WWW.DROUGHT.GOV  
 
NOAA DROUGHT PAGE:  
HTTP://WWW.CPC.NCEP.NOAA.GOV/PRODUCTS/DROUGHT  
 
ADDITIONAL RIVER INFORMATION...  
 
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE:  
HTTP://WATER.WEATHER.GOV  
 
US GEOLOGICAL SURVEY:  
HTTP://WATER.USGS.GOV  
 
US ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS:  
HTTP://WWW.USACE.ARMY.MIL  
 
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...  
THE DROUGHT MONITOR IS A MULTI-AGENCY EFFORT INVOLVING THE  
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE AND NATIONAL CENTERS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL  
INFORMATION, 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.  
 
CONTACT INFORMATION...  
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  
LWXWEBMASTER@NOAA.GOV  
 

 
 
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