October 10, 2012 - October has begun with variable amounts of rainfall. The wettest areas have been from northern Virginia northeast into northern Maryland where rainfall has been 1/2 to over 1 inch above normal. The dryest areas were around the central Chesapeake Bay and in Delaware. Over the past 90 days, rainfall has been mostly average plus or minus 1 to 3 inches. Portions of the lower Delmarva Peninsula and Tidewater Region of Virginia are 3 to as much as 10 inches above normal for rainfall.

Current (October 10) streamflow data from the U.S. Geological Survey shows that streamflows are mostly around normal except in the central Delmarva Peninsula. Here, streamflows are running below normal. Groundwater levels are generally running near normal with a few spots below normal.

The US Drought Monitor, as of October 2, indicates that a moderate to severe drought is underway in the central Delmarva Peninsula and Chesapeake Bay region. Moderate drought conditions exist in the Appomattox River Basin in central Virginia. The state of Maryland continues a drought watch for the Eastern Region. The state of Virginia has a drought warning posted for the Appomattox River Basin and a drought watch for the Northern Piedmont Region. Drought declarations, if any, are declared by individual states.

The weather outlook through the next couple of weeks calls for below normal rainfall and temperatures in the short term with above normal rainfall and temperatures expected afterwards. The Climate Prediction Center's 30 day outlook for October calls for above average precipitation along with below average temperatures. The 90 day outlook for October through December calls for near average rainfall along with above average temperatures.

The outlook for water resources for the next several weeks looks good to very good. We are heading deeper into the autumn season and vegetation will gradually become dormant allowing water supplies and resources to increase, which is typical for this time of year. The water recharge season will begin soon. With near or above normal precipitation expected to continue, current water supplies and resources are likely to continue to increase over the next several weeks. The only possible exception to this is Delaware, eastern Maryland, and eastern Virginia. Here, rainfall over the past month or so has tended to miss this area, so water recharge season may take a while longer to get underway.

In summary, the southern portion of the MARFC service area has sufficient to increasingly abundant water resources and water supplies. We can expect these water resources to remain stable or increase in the upcoming weeks and months. With near or above normal rainfall expected to continue, water resources should remain sufficient or abundant and no water shortages are expected in the near term and, quite likely, for the rest of 2012.