January 2, 2013 - December was quite wet (and white late in the month) with most areas running 1 to 3 inches above normal precipitation in south-central New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Only areas in southern Pennsylvania were under an inch above normal. Despite cooler, snowier weather the last week or so of the month, temperatures in December averaged generally about 5 or 6 degrees above normal, which is quite warm. For calendar year 2012, precipitation was fairly typical overall. The wettest area was in south-central Pennsylvania with amounts 4 to 7 inches above normal. The driest areas were in much of northeast New Jersey along with the Philadelphia area and adjoining sections of New Jersey. In these areas, precipitation was 5 to 9 inches below average. Over the past 90 days, precipitation has been near normal in most locations plus or minus an inch or two. However, precipitation in southern New Jersey is 3 to 5 inches above normal.

Current (January 2) streamflow data from the U.S. Geological Survey shows that streamflows are normal, though above normal in southern New Jersey. Groundwater levels are near or above normal.

Late December brought a series of snow events to most of the northern part of MARFC service area. Snow water equivalent, or the amount of water that will be released from the snow when it melts, is about 1 to 2 inches in south-central New York, much of Pennsylvania, and northwest New Jersey. Should a significant rain occur along with warm temperatures, this snowpack will add to runoff. For the rest of New Jersey as well as south-central and southeast Pennsylvania, snow water equivalent is under one inch (if any) and is (for now) hydrologically insignificant.

The weather outlook into the middle of January calls for below normal precipitation for the next several days but then above normal precipitation closer to the middle of the month. Temperatures are expected to be below normal early in the period but then warm to above average levels. The Climate Prediction Center's 30 day outlook for January, 2013 calls for near average precipitation along with above normal temperatures. The 90 day outlook for January, 2013 through March, 2013 calls for near average precipitation and temperatures.

The outlook for water resources for early 2013 looks very good. Recent above normal precipitation has delivered significant amounts of water, including a snowpack to many areas, to all of south-central New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. Dormant vegetation, low sun angle, and a likely continuation of near or above average precipitation should ensure that water resources and supplies will remain abundant for the next couple of months.

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 or increase 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 abundant and no water shortages are expected for the next couple of months.

End.