February 3, 2013 - January precipitation, thanks to a late month storm, ended up being fairly typical (plus or minus less than an inch) for most areas. The driest spot was in the Catskill Region of New York where precipitation was around an inch below normal. On the other hand, precipitation in some southernmost parts of Pennsylvania (York and Lancaster Counties) was 1 to 1 1/2 inches above normal. Despite a period of cold weather late in the month, temperatures in January were 2 to 4 degrees above average in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and southern New York. Over the past 90 days dating back to early November, precipitation has been near to an inch or two below normal.

Current (February 3) streamflow data from the U.S. Geological Survey shows that streamflows are about normal in southeast Pennsylvania and much of New Jersey. Flows are much above normal in southern New York, northern New Jersey and the rest of Pennsylvania. Groundwater levels are near or above normal.

Despite recent cold temperatures, little snow has fallen when temperatures have been cold. Warm temperatures have accompanied the significant precipitation events leading to rain and melting of what little snow had been on the ground. So, snow depths are only running 1 to 4 inches and while this covers much of the northern portion of the MARFC service area, not all spots report measurable snow on the ground. Snow water equivalent, or the amount of water that will be released from the snow when it melts, is mostly under one half of an inch which is considerably below normal for early February. For now, this snow water equivalent is hydrologically insignificant.

The weather outlook through the middle of February calls for near average precipitation early in the period but then above average precipitation for much of the rest of the period. Below average temperatures are expected early in the period but then become above 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 very good. There are no areas showing signs of significant dryness and most areas are, in fact, quite wet. Despite below normal snowpack, near or even above average precipitation should ensure that water resources and supplies will remain abundant for the next several weeks. Even central and southern New Jersey, where conditions were becoming dry, have benefited from recent rainfall.

In summary, the northern portion of the MARFC service area has abundant water resources and water supplies. These water resources are likely to increase in the upcoming weeks. With generally near or above normal precipitation expected, water resources should remain abundant and no water shortages are expected for the next several weeks.

End.