March 30, 2013 - As March nears an end, precipitation has been near to an inch or so below normal in New Jersey and southeast Pennsylvania but an inch or two below normal for the rest of Pennsylvania and south-central New York. Over the past 90 days (or pretty much the year to date), precipitation has been near to an inch or so below average in New Jersey but 1 to 2 1/2 inches below average in Pennsylvania and south-central New York.

Current (March 30) streamflow data from the U.S. Geological Survey shows that streamflows are near normal in southern Pennsylvania and the southern half of New Jersey. Flows are below to much below normal in the rest of Pennsylvania north of the Turnpike, the northern half of New Jersey, and in south-central New York. Groundwater levels are near normal in most locations.

Snowcover in the northern portion of the MARFC service area has been melting and/or evaporating and now covers a fairly small part of the northern portion of the MARFC service area. Snow is still on the ground in the highest elevations of Pennsylvania and south-central New York but reports indicate that amounts are under 6 inches. Snow water equivalent, or the amount of water that will be released from the snow when it melts, is mostly under 1 inch and is largely hydrologically insignificant.

The weather outlook through mid-April calls for near or below average precipitation. Temperatures are expected to be below normal but moderate closer to normal late in the period. The Climate Prediction Center's 30 day outlook for April and the 90 day outlook for April through June calls for near average precipitation and above average temperatures.

The outlook for water resources has been downgraded and now looks fair to good. There have been occasional periods of dry weather since the beginning of the year that have only been offset by brief periods of about "normal" precipitation. Also, the snowmelt season has been minimal due to a lack of a deep snowpack this season. As a result, south-central New York along with much of Pennsylvania north of the Turnpike are now showing signs of growing dryness and this is where the water resources outlook is fair. Though somewhat delayed, we are fast approaching the green-up season and the increase in water that goes along with it. In the absence of more frequent precipitation, water resources are likely to become stressed in the upcoming weeks and months. Precipitation has been a bit more abundant in southern Pennsylvania and New Jersey, but even here, the outlook is now only good as we move deeper into spring. The bottom line is that water resources and supplies will remain sufficient to abundant for the next several weeks, but an increase in precipitation is needed to avoid further deterioration in water resource conditions.

In summary, the northern portion of the MARFC service area has sufficient to abundant water resources and water supplies. These water resources and supplies are likely to maintain current levels or increase slightly in the coming weeks and remain abundant with no water shortages expected.