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

March 26, 2015 March precipitation has been 1 to 1 1/2 inches below average in southern New York and the northern half of Pennsylvania. In southeast Pennsylvania and in the southern half of New Jersey, precipitation has been an inch or 2 above average. Elsewhere, amounts have been about average. Temperatures in March have been 2 or 3 degrees below normal in the western half of Pennsylvania but 4 to 6 degrees below normal elsewhere in Pennsylvania, southern New York, and New Jersey. Over the past 90 days, precipitation for southern New York, most of Pennsylvania, and northwest New Jersey has been 2 to 4 1/2 inches below average. Southeast Pennsylvania and the rest of New Jersey have had about average to an inch or two above average precipitation.

The snowpack continues to melt with some snow depth amounts of as much as 6 to 12 inches in parts of southern New York and far northeastern Pennsylvania. However, mostly 4 inches or less covers parts of the rest of southern New York along with north-central and northeast Pennsylvania. Elsewhere, little or no snow is on the ground. The water equivalent in this snow, or the amount of water that will be released when it melts, ranges from 2 to nearly 4 inches in southern New York in areas north and east of Binghamton. 1 to 2 inches of water equivalent is on the ground in the mountains of central and northeast Pennsylvania as well as the rest of southern New York. Elsewhere, little or no snow is left. Though additional snow is still possible this season, the melting phase of this snow season will continue. This amount of snow will have minor to possibly moderate hydrologic significance if it melts in the absence of an accompanying rainstorm. However, if accompanied by a significant warm-up and rainfall, melting snow could then have a moderate or greater effect on river rises. This threat has decreased over the past week or so, but still continues especially in New York. Some river ice remains on some streams and rivers in southern New York. This continues to decrease and is becoming less of a jamming threat but cannot yet be ruled out.

Current (March 26) streamflow data from the U.S. Geological Survey shows that streamflows are below or much below normal in southern New York and the northern half of Pennsylvania. In the southern half of Pennsylvania and in New Jersey, flows are normal. Groundwater levels continue to improve and are below normal in southern New York and northeast Pennsylvania. Levels are near or above normal elsewhere.

The weather outlook through the first week or so of April calls for near or below normal precipitation in the first half of the period but then above average precipitation for the second half of the period. Temperatures are expected to be below average. The NWS Climate Prediction Center's 30 day outlook for April calls for near average precipitation and below normal temperatures. The 90 day outlook for April through June calls for near average precipitation and temperatures.

The outlook for water resources and water supplies is good across southern New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. Though some indicators (precipitation deficits, streamflows, and groundwater levels) suggest dry conditions, recent rainfall and melting snow has offset these indicators. However, as the snowmelt season ends, if below average precipitation returns after the remainder of the snowpack has melted, then this outlook will likely be downgraded in the coming weeks.

End.

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Page Author: Jason Nolan
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Page last modified: October 29, 2014 10:58 PM
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