May 6, 2013 - To date, little or no rain has fallen in the month of May, though that is about to change. Precipitation over the past 90 days ranges from 2 1/2 to 4 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 long term dryness with precipitation ranging from 3 to 5 1/2 inches below average. Again, the exception is far southern New Jersey where amounts have been near or an inch or two below average.

Current (May 6) streamflow data from the U.S. Geological Survey shows that streamflows are below or much below normal in south-central New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. Streamflow tends to quickly respond to rainfall or a lack of rainfall. Groundwater levels are, on average, near normal and tend to respond slowly to rainfall or a lack of rainfall.

The weather outlook through the next couple of weeks calls for above normal rainfall. Temperatures are expected to average out to be near normal during this period, though above normal days appear to be a bit more possible than below normal days. 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. 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 not 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, water resources may become increasingly stressed in the upcoming weeks and months. Above normal rainfall is expected over the next week or two (in the short term), but the effects of this rainfall on water resources has yet to be seen.

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 long term decrease in the coming weeks but remain sufficient with no water shortages expected in the next several weeks. Above normal rainfall in the short term is expected to give water resources and supplies a boost.