May 1, 2013 - April rainfall was 1 to nearly 2 inches below normal in Maryland from the northern Chesapeake Bay westward, the eastern panhandle of West Virginia, and northern Virginia. Elsewhere, rainfall was near normal. Temperatures in April were 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 degrees above normal. Precipitation over the past 90 days has been 2 1/2 to nearly 4 inches below average in Maryland west of the Chesapeake Bay, the eastern panhandle of West Virginia, and in the Virginia counties adjoining West Virginia. The middle and lower areas of the Delmarva Peninsula are running 2 to 3 1/2 inches above normal. Elsewhere, amounts are near average. Year to date precipitation in Virginia is running about average up to 3 1/2 inches above average. Much of the remaining area has been around normal or an inch or 2 below, but far western Maryland is 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 inches below average.

Current (May 1) streamflow data from the U.S. Geological Survey shows that streamflows are around normal, though flows in the Delmarva Peninsula are above normal. Groundwater levels are generally near or below normal.

The weather outlook through the middle of May calls for below normal rainfall for the first half of the outlook and then above normal rainfall for the second half of the outlook. Temperatures are expected to average out to about normal for the period. The Climate Prediction Center's 30 day outlook for May calls for near normal precipitation and temperatures. The 90 day outlook for May through July calls for near average precipitation and above normal temperatures.

The outlook for water resources for the next several weeks looks good in the south but has been downgraded to fair in the north. Increasing periods of dry weather in Maryland (except the areas adjoining the Chesapeake Bay), the eastern panhandle of West Virginia, and northern Virginia have led to increasing precipitation deficits in these areas. As a result, increasing stress on water resources and supplies may occur in the coming weeks and months unless the frequency and amount of rain increases. Further south, the frequency and amount of rain has led to sufficient to abundant water supplies and resources and the current rainfall outlook suggests that these conditions will continue for awhile.

In summary, the southern portion of the MARFC service area has sufficient water resources and water supplies, though these conditions are starting to be stressed further north. These water resources are likely to maintain current levels or begin to decrease in the upcoming weeks but remain sufficient with no water shortages expected in the short term.

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