March 20, 2013 - To date, precipitation in March has been near normal to 2 inches above normal for the southern portion of the MARFC service area with the least amounts in the north and in far southeastern Virginia where amounts have been as much as an inch below normal. Over the past 90 days, precipitation has been abundant with most areas running 1 to over 4 1/2 inches above average. Far western Maryland and the eastern panhandle of West Virginia amounts are closer to average plus or minus and inch or so.

Current (March 20) streamflow data from the U.S. Geological Survey shows that streamflows are near or above normal. Groundwater levels are generally near normal or above normal.

A drought watch remains in effect for the upper James River region of Virginia. Drought declarations, if any, are declared by individual states.

Little snow remains but persists in far western Maryland, western areas of the eastern panhandle of West Virginia, and the higher mountains where about 4 inches or less is on the ground. Snow water equivalent, or the amount of water that will be released from the snow when it melts, is about 1 inch or less in these same areas and is considered to be hydrologically insignificant.

The weather outlook through early April calls for, on average, near normal precipitation. Temperatures are expected to be below or much below normal for this period. The Climate Prediction Center's 30 day outlook for March calls for near normal precipitation and temperatures. The 90 day outlook for March through May calls for near average precipitation and above normal temperatures.

The outlook for water resources for the next several weeks looks good. Recent storminess has improved water supplies and resources. The onset of spring green-up (which leads to an increase in water usage) may be slowed by the anticipated below normal temperatures, but about average precipitation should continue indicating that water supplies and resources will remain sufficient to abundant for the next several weeks.

In summary, the southern portion of the MARFC service area has sufficient to abundant water resources and water supplies. These water resources are likely to maintain current levels in the upcoming weeks based mainly on current precipitation forecasts and remain sufficient or abundant with no water shortages expected at least for the next several weeks.

End.