October 1, 2013 - With the exception of south-central New York (where 3 to 5 1/2 inches of rain fell), below or much below average rainfall of 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 inches fell in September, which was 1 to nearly 3 inches below average. This continues a lengthening period of dry weather over the past few months for the northern portion of the MARFC service area. Temperatures in September were about normal to a degree or so below normal. Rainfall over the past 90 days, dating back to early July, shows an increasing and expanding dry area in central Pennsylvania with rainfall running 2 to 6 1/2 inches, or 50 to 75 percent, below normal. Most of south-central New York, eastern-most Pennsylvania and New Jersey are running about average, plus to minus 1 to 3 inches. As far as central Pennsylvania goes, if we extend the period to include all of 2013, then precipitation is now an impressive 6 to 11 inches below normal.

Current (October 1) streamflow data from the U.S. Geological Survey reflects the growing stretch of dry weather with streamflows running from near to below normal in New Jersey and Pennsylvania but are still at or above normal in south-central New York. Groundwater levels are still hanging in at near normal levels.

The weather outlook through the middle of October calls for below normal rainfall to start the period, but then near or above normal rain afterwards. Temperatures are expected to be above normal. The NWS Climate Prediction Center's 30-day outlook for October calls for near average precipitation with temperatures above or even much above normal. The 90 day outlook for October through December calls for near average precipitation and temperatures.

There are a couple of weak systems in the Atlantic Ocean basin. But, rain from a tropical system is not expected in the near term.

The outlook for water resources is very good across the northern half of the MARFC service area except for central Pennsylvania. Here, the outlook is good. Rainfall has been below average for a lengthening period and this dryness has begun to affect, though still minimally, water resources and supplies. As we move deeper into autumn and the strength of the sun continues to lessen, drought development will be slow to happen, but could still occur as long term dryness continues. The outlook will be downgraded if this dryness continues. Oppositely, a wet period in the next couple of weeks or months would quickly replenish any effects that are beginning to appear. As a whole, water resources and supplies are sufficient or abundant. Long range weather outlooks are showing a good chance for wet weather, so we'll see how water supplies and resources respond should this rain materialize.