April 23, 2013 - April rainfall continues to be nearly normal, plus or minus up to 1 inch, for south-central New York, Pennsylvania, and most of New Jersey. Rainfall is running from 1 to 1 1/2 inches below normal in northern New Jersey. Precipitation over the past 90 days ranges from average or up to 3 inches below average. Year to date precipitation is showing a similar trend ranging from about normal up to 4 1/2 inches below. The driest zone stretches from south-central Pennsylvania northeast to the Catskill Region of New York.

Current (April 23) streamflow data from the U.S. Geological Survey shows that streamflows, as a result of recent April rainfall, are near normal in most areas. A zone stretching from northern New Jersey into the southeast corner of Pennsylvania is experiencing flows that are below normal. Groundwater levels are near to above normal.

The weather outlook through the first week or so of May calls for near or above normal rainfall. Temperatures are expected to average out to be near or above normal during this period. The Climate Prediction Center's 30 day outlook for May calls for near average precipitation and temperatures. The 90 day outlook for May through July calls for near average precipitation and above average temperatures.

The outlook for water resources is fair to good. There have been occasional periods of dry weather since the beginning of the year that have been offset by brief periods of about "normal" precipitation, with much of April being one of those mostly "normal" periods. As a result, an expanding portion of the northern MARFC service area is now showing signs of growing dryness leading to "fair" expectations for water resources. On the other hand, April precipitation has been mostly sufficient to date and the outlook for precipitation into early May is favorable leading to the optimistic upper range of "good" for water resources. Green-up season is underway along with the increase in water that goes along with it. So, in the absence of more frequent rainfall (which is, in fact, in the outlook), water resources may become stressed in the upcoming weeks and months.

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, though this expectation is dependent on current near or above average rainfall expectations.