November Highlights: Below Normal Precipitation. Below Normal Temperatures.

December 6, 2012 - November was dry and cool. Precipitation was 2 to 3 inches below normal while temperatures ranged from 2 to 4 1/2 degrees below normal. December precipitation, so far, has ranged from little or none in southern Pennsylvania and the southern half of New Jersey up to about 1/2 inch in south-central New York and north-central Pennsylvania. But, as we'll see in the outlook, a period of wet weather is expected. Over the past 90 day period dating back to early September, precipitation has been near normal in most locations. However, precipitation in Adams and York counties in southern Pennsylvania and Cape May county New Jersey is 3 to 5 1/2 inches above normal. Precipitation in northeast New Jersey is now 2 to 3 1/2 inches below normal. Year to date precipitation for 2012 has been fairly typical overall. The wettest area has been in south-central Pennsylvania with amounts 4 to 6 inches above normal. The driest areas have been in much of the northern half of New Jersey along with the Philadelphia area and adjoining sections of New Jersey. In these areas, precipitation has been 6 to 11 inches below average.

Current (December 6) streamflow data from the U.S. Geological Survey shows that streamflows are near or below normal in the southern half of Pennsylvania. Elsewhere, flows are below to much below normal. Groundwater levels are now responding to recent dry weather with mostly below normal levels. Again, the drop in flows and groundwater levels reflect the lack of precipitation in November.

As the first week of December winds down, there is currently no snow reported in south-central New York, Pennsylvania, or New Jersey.

The weather outlook taking us past the middle of December is indicating a likely change in the weather pattern. While November was quite dry and cool, precipitation over the next couple of weeks is expected to be above average. Likewise, temperatures should be above normal. The Climate Prediction Center's 30 day outlook for December as well as the 90 day outlook for December, 2012 through February, 2013 calls for near average precipitation and temperatures.

The outlook for water resources for the next several weeks and into early 2013 looks good to very good. Though the extended period of dry weather (below or much below average precipitation) that we have been experiencing has begun to reverse this trend, a return to above normal precipitation is increasingly likely. This should ensure that water resources and supplies will begin to increase once again. So, water supplies and resources are expected to remain sufficient to abundant at least into early 2013.

In summary, the northern portion of the MARFC service area has abundant water resources and water supplies. These water resources are likely to remain stable in the upcoming weeks. With above normal precipitation expected in the short term and then generally near normal precipitation expected in the longer term, water resources should remain sufficient to abundant and no water shortages are expected at least through the early parts of 2013.

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