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Water Resources Outlook - Northern MARFC Area
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Map of the Northern Water Resources Outlook Region

May 22, 2015 May has been quite dry so far with 1/2 inch or less of rain in east-central and southeast Pennsylvania. New Jersey has seen mostly 1/2 to 1 inch amounts while southern New York and the rest of Pennsylvania have picked up generally 1 to scattered areas of as much as 2 1/2 inches of rain. Except for scattered spots, most of the southern two thirds of Pennsylvania and all of New Jersey are 1 to 2 1/2 inches below normal. May continues to be quite warm with temperatures running several degrees above normal. Over the past 60 days, precipitation over the Catskill Region of New York; eastern, southeastern, and south-central Pennsylvania; and all of New Jersey is running 25% to more than 50% below normal. Over the past 90 days, precipitation has been about 1 to 4 1/2 inches below average in southern New York and Pennsylvania and up to 5 1/2 inches below in parts of east-central Pennsylvania. Precipitation has been 2 to over 5 inches below in most of New Jersey. The only exception has been southern New Jersey where precipitation has been near normal. In summary, the frequency and amount of precipitation has decreased noticeably over the past couple of months.

Current (May 22) streamflow data from the U.S. Geological Survey shows that streamflows are much below normal in the Catskill Region of New York, eastern Pennsylvania, and the northern two thirds of New Jersey. Elsewhere, flows are below normal. Groundwater levels are much below normal in eastern Pennsylvania and northwest New Jersey. Elsewhere, groundwater is near or below normal.

As a result of this recent dryness, according to the US Drought Monitor, several counties in eastern Pennsylvania, northwest New Jersey, and southern-most New York are now considered to be in "Moderate Drought." This means that some damage to crops and pastures could occur; streams, reservoirs, or wells are low; some water shortages are developing or are imminent; and voluntary water-use restrictions may be requested.

The weather outlook into early June calls for below average rainfall for the first half of the outlook but then near or above average rainfall for the second half. Temperatures are expected to be above or much above normal. The NWS Climate Prediction Center's 30 day outlook for June calls for near average rainfall and near or above normal temperatures. The 90 day outlook for June through August calls for near average precipitation and temperatures.

The outlook for water resources and water supplies has been downgraded and is now good to fair across southern New York and northern Pennsylvania. The outlook is fair to poor for southern Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Rainfall frequency and amounts have decreased considerably over the past 30 to 60 days creating noticeable deficits. Areas further north have had more rainfall allowing conditions to remain fairly wet, at least for now. This lack of rainfall is having an effect on streamflows, topsoil and groundwater. Further effects may appear as we move further into the warm season and if rainfall remains below normal. Longer term precipitation deficits are also growing during this near term lack of rainfall. The outlook for rainfall suggests a return to at least average or even above average rain. However, further degrading of this outlook is quite possible in the event that this rainfall does not materialize.


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Page last modified: October 29, 2014 10:58 PM
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