The maps and graphs in this summary describe national streamflow conditions for water year 2016 (October 1, 2015, to September 30, 2016) in the context of streamflow ranks relative to the 87-year period of 1930–2016, unless otherwise noted. The illustrations are based on observed data from the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) National Streamflow Network. The period of 1930–2016 was used because the number of streamgages before 1930 was too small to provide representative data for computing statistics for most regions of the country.
In the summary, reference is made to the term “runoff,” which is the depth to which a river basin, State, or other geographic area would be covered with water if all the streamflow within the area during a specified period was uniformly distributed on it. Runoff quantifies the magnitude of water flowing through the Nation’s rivers and streams in measurement units that can be compared from one area to another.
In all the graphics, a rank of 1 indicates the highest flow of all years analyzed and 87 indicates the lowest flow of all years. Rankings of streamflow are grouped into much below normal, below normal, normal, above normal, and much above normal based on percentiles of flow (less than 10 percent, 10–24 percent, 25–75 percent, 76–90 percent, and greater than 90 percent, respectively). Some of the data used to produce the maps and graphs are provisional and subject to change.
|tableOfContents||<ul><li>Introduction<br></li><li>National Overview<br></li><li>Regional Patterns<br></li><li>Seasonal Characteristics<br></li><li>High and Low Flows<br></li><li>Additional Information<br></li><li>References<br></li></ul>|