March 6, 2013 - February ended on the dry side, despite a late month storm, along with temperatures a bit below average. Precipitation totals of 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 inches for south-central New York, Pennsylvania, and northwest New Jersey amounted to near to about an inch below average totals for the month. Amounts of 2 1/2 to 4 1/2 inches fell in the rest of New Jersey which was near or even an inch or two above average. February temperatures ranged from near normal to 1 1/2 degrees below normal. Calendar year 2013 precipitation is running 1/2 to 2 1/2 inches below normal with the more significant dryness being in south-central New York and in Pennsylvania. In southern-most New Jersey, precipitation is closer to normal. Over the past 90 days, precipitation has been near normal or up to a couple of inches above normal.

Current (March 6) streamflow data from the U.S. Geological Survey shows that streamflows are normal to below normal in south-central New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. Groundwater levels are near or above normal.

We have entered late winter and continue to experience relatively little snow in both intensity of snowstorms and maintaining on the ground what little has been falling. This is now unlikely to change. Where snow is on the ground in south-central New York and Pennsylvania, depths are only 1 to 6 inches with a few spots reporting 6 to 10. In New Jersey and a good portion of Pennsylvania, 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, has increased a bit and now ranges from 1/2 to 1 1/2 inches where there is snow (though 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 inches can be found in the Catskill Region of New York). For early March, this snow water equivalent is mostly hydrologically insignificant.

The weather outlook extending past mid March calls for near or above average precipitation. 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 calls for near average precipitation and temperatures. 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 quite possible in the next week or so and it appears that an overall normal (with a possible lean toward somewhat wet) weather pattern can be expected for awhile. There is currently not much snowpack to aid in replenishing water resources this spring and moisture conditions leading up to the start of the spring season are drier than average, so this anticipated normal to wet weather pattern is needed but would also likely be sufficient to maintain abundant water resources. So, 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.

End.