January 25, 2013 - To date, January (and 2013) precipitation has been quite light. Amounts have been about 1/2 inch below normal in far southeast Pennsylvania and the southern half of New Jersey. Elsewhere in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and southern New York, precipitation amounts are 1 to 1 1/2 inches below average. Over the past 90 days dating back to late October, precipitation has been near normal plus or minus up to a couple of inches. However, precipitation in southern New Jersey is 5 to 10 inches above normal, mainly due to rain from "Sandy" in late October.

Current (January 25) streamflow data from the U.S. Geological Survey shows that streamflows are about normal for most locations. But in central New Jersey and southeast Pennsylvania, flows are running below normal. Groundwater levels are near or above normal.

Despite recent cold temperatures, little snow has fallen. With very little snowfall so far in January, snow depths are only running 1 to 3 inches. And, this is in southern New York, northern and central Pennsylvania, and far northwest New Jersey. Similarly, snow water equivalent, or the amount of water that will be released from the snow when it melts, is mostly under an inch where there is snow on the ground. For now, this snow water equivalent is considered to be hydrologically insignificant for most of the region.

The weather outlook through the first week of February calls for a gradual return to above average precipitation as near average precipitation early in the period gradually increases to above average in early February. Despite some near or above normal temperatures by the end of January, overall, temperatures are expected to be below normal. The Climate Prediction Center's 30 day outlook for February calls for near average precipitation and temperatures. The 90 day outlook for February through April calls for near average precipitation and above average temperatures.

The outlook for water resources looks good to very good. Despite below normal precipitation for January to date, there is still some (albeit below normal) snowpack in south-central New York, northern and central Pennsylvania, and northern New Jersey and there is no area that is currently showing signs of significant dryness. Dormant vegetation, low sun angle, and a likely return to near or even above average precipitation should ensure that water resources and supplies will remain abundant for the next several weeks. The only potential exception lies in central and southern New Jersey. As the effects of rainfall from "Sandy" fade, potential signs of dryness could start to creep into this region. We'll monitor the situation.

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 generally near or even above normal precipitation expected, water resources should remain abundant and no water shortages are expected for the next several weeks.

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