March 30, 2013 - As March nears an end, precipitation has been normal plus or minus an inch or so just about everywhere in the southern portion of the MARFC service area. Over the past 90 days (or pretty much the year to date), precipitation has been abundant in Virginia with most areas running about average up to 3 inches above average. Much of the remaining area has been around normal though parts of western Maryland and the eastern panhandle of West Virginia amounts are running 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 inches below average.

Current (March 30) streamflow data from the U.S. Geological Survey shows that streamflows are near normal. Groundwater levels are generally near normal as well.

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 and the highest mountains of the eastern panhandle of West Virginia where reports indicate that under 6 inches are 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 (with some isolated higher amounts) in these same areas and is considered to be hydrologically insignificant.

The weather outlook through mid-April calls for near or below normal precipitation. Temperatures are expected to be below normal but moderate closer to normal late in the period. The Climate Prediction Center's 30 day outlook for April and the 90 day outlook for April through June calls for near or below 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) has begun or will soon begin. But, the precipitation outlook indicates that sufficient amounts are expected to allow for the continuation of sufficient to abundant water supplies and resources 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 or increase slightly in the upcoming weeks and remain sufficient or abundant with no water shortages expected.