May 1, 2013 - April rainfall was near or just slightly (1/2 inch or so) below normal in much of south-central New York and north-central Pennsylvania. Elsewhere in Pennsylvania, the Catskill Region of New York, and New Jersey, rainfall ran 1/2 to 1 1/2 inches below normal. The greatest lack of rainfall was northern New Jersey where rain amounts lagged by 1 1/2 to nearly 3 inches. Temperature-wise in April, most places were near normal plus or minus 1/2 to 1 degree for the northern portion of the MARFC service area. Precipitation over the past 90 days ranges from 1 1/2 to 3 1/2 inches below average. The only exception is southern New Jersey where amounts have been closer to normal. Year to date precipitation is showing a similar trend of increasing dryness with precipitation ranging from 1 1/2 to 5 inches below average. Again, the exception is far southern New Jersey where amounts have been closer to average.

Current (May 1) streamflow data from the U.S. Geological Survey shows that streamflows are near normal in south-central New York and most of Pennsylvania, near or below normal in far eastern Pennsylvania and the southern half of New Jersey, and below to much below normal in the northern half of New Jersey. Groundwater levels are, on average, near normal.

The weather outlook through the middle of May calls for below normal rainfall, though amounts are expected to increase by mid-month. Temperatures are expected to average out to be near 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 has been downgraded to fair. Persistent, though not extreme, overall dry weather since the beginning of the year has led to increasing longer term deficits. As a result, much of the northern MARFC service area is now showing signs of growing dryness leading to the lower outlook of "fair" expectations for water resources. A "good" outlook for water resources is no longer expected until rainfall increases back to or above normal. Increase in water usage will continue as we head further into spring. So, in the absence of more frequent rainfall, which appears to be unlikely for at least the next week to 10 days, water resources may become increasingly stressed in the upcoming weeks and months.

In summary, the northern portion of the MARFC service area has sufficient water resources and water supplies. These water resources and supplies are likely to maintain current levels or begin a slow decrease in the coming weeks but remain sufficient with no water shortages expected in the short term.

End.