February 25, 2013 - February continues to be on the dry side with precipitation totals so far ranging from 1/2 to 1 1/2 inches for south-central New York, Pennsylvania, and northwest New Jersey. More has fallen in the rest of New Jersey with 2 to 3 inches to date. 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 1/2 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.

Current (February 25) streamflow data from the U.S. Geological Survey shows that streamflows are normal in New Jersey but normal to below normal in south-central New York and Pennsylvania. 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 5 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 1/2 inches is on the ground in the Catskill Region of New York). For late February, this is below normal and this snow water equivalent is mostly hydrologically insignificant.

The weather outlook through nearly mid March calls for above average precipitation through the end of February but then below normal precipitation as we enter the month of March. Temperatures early in the period are expected to be above normal but then fall below average. The Climate Prediction Center's 30 day outlook for March and the 90 day outlook for March through May calls for near average precipitation and above average temperatures.

The outlook for water resources looks good to very good. Though there are no areas showing signs of significant dryness, a longer term period of dry weather has developed in south-central New York and much of Pennsylvania. A significant weather event is expected to finish out the month of February, but then it appears that dry weather will return. There is currently little snowpack to aid in replenishing water resources this spring (though the late February storm is likely to add at least some snow cover to the areas further north and in the mountains). Though the onset of spring is still several weeks away, moisture conditions leading up to the start of the season are currently drier than average for late February. As a result (and despite the likelihood of a significant precipitation event to close out February), the outlook for water resources has come down a bit. Nevertheless, water resources and supplies will remain abundant for the next several weeks.

In summary, the northern portion of the MARFC service area has abundant water resources and water supplies. These water resources and supplies are likely to increase in the upcoming weeks and remain abundant with no water shortages expected for the next several weeks.