March 20, 2013 - To date, March has featured near average precipitation in New Jersey, eastern and southeastern Pennsylvania, and the Catskill Region of New York. Elsewhere in Pennsylvania and south-central New York, precipitation has been up to 1 inch below average. Over the past 90 days, precipitation has been near normal in Pennsylvania and south-central New York. Amounts are running 1 to as much as 3 1/2 inches above normal for New Jersey.

Current (March 20) streamflow data from the U.S. Geological Survey shows that streamflows are normal to above normal in south-central New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. Groundwater levels are near or above normal.

Snowcover in the northern portion of the MARFC service area persists, though neither the depth nor the water equivalent is particularly high. Only southeast Pennsylvania and the southern half of New Jersey report little or no snow. Elsewhere, snow depths are mostly 1 to 4 inches with isolated higher amounts. Snow water equivalent, or the amount of water that will be released from the snow when it melts, ranges from 1/2 to 1 1/2 inches, but varies significantly within short distances. In particular, the higher the elevation or the more recent the snowfall, the higher the water equivalent is likely to be. This snow water equivalent is largely hydrologically insignificant, but could aggravate river rises in the event of a significant rainfall (which, for now, does not appear to be likely in the near future).

The weather outlook through early April calls for near or below average precipitation. Temperatures are expected to be below or even much below normal. 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 have been occasional periods of dry weather over the past several months, there are no areas showing signs of significant dryness. There is currently a fairly small snowpack, but we are also well into the melt season so, in the absence of snowfall, the snow will gradually melt even with below normal temperatures helping to maintain a small contribution of water until it has all melted. We are fast approaching the green-up season and the increase in water that goes along with it. Below normal temperatures are likely to hold any green-up at bay for now, so the impact of below normal precipitation on water resources will be small as long as any dry period is brief. The bottom line is that water resources and supplies will remain abundant for the next several weeks, but this outlook may deteriorate if a long dry spell occurs.

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 maintain current normal levels and remain abundant with no water shortages expected for the next several weeks.