February 20, 2013 - February to date has been a dry month so far with precipitation amounts mostly near or under an inch for south-central New York and Pennsylvania. More has fallen in New Jersey with 1 to nearly 2 inches in the northern half and 2 to 3 inches in the southern half of the state. Calendar year 2013 precipitation is beginning to show a dry area in south-central New York and in Pennsylvania north of the Turnpike. In these areas, precipitation is running 1 to 2 1/2 inches below normal. In southern-most Pennsylvania and much of New Jersey, precipitation is closer to normal. Over the past 90 days, precipitation has been near normal plus or minus an inch or two for all locations.

Current (February 20) streamflow data from the U.S. Geological Survey shows that streamflows are normal. Groundwater levels are near or above normal.

As we enter late winter, we continue to experience relatively little snow in both intensity of snowstorms and maintaining on the ground what little has been falling. Where snow is on the ground in south-central New York and Pennsylvania, depths are only 1 to 6 inches. In much of southern Pennsylvania and New Jersey, little or no snow is on the ground. Snow water equivalent, or the amount of water that will be released from the snow when it melts, is around or under one half inch where snow is on the ground (though 1/2 to 1 inch is on the ground in the Catskill Region of New York). For mid to late February, this is below normal and this snow water equivalent is mostly hydrologically insignificant.

The weather outlook through early March calls for near or above average precipitation along with temperatures near or 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, though a longer term period of dry weather is developing in south-central New York and much of Pennsylvania. Though there is currently little snowpack, the expectation of near or even above average precipitation would suggest that water resources and supplies will remain abundant for the next several weeks. However, expectations of above average precipitation for the past several weeks have yet to occur. If this trend continues and dry weather continues, then the outlook for this region may change especially since snowpack is currently minimal.

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.

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