May 6, 2013 - To date, little or no rain has fallen in the month of May, except for some light amounts in west-central Virginia. Precipitation over the past 90 days has been near normal plus or minus an inch or two over much of the area. Areas in the central and lower Delmarva Peninsula are running 2 to 3 inches above normal. In far northern Delaware, Maryland west of the Chesapeake Bay, the eastern panhandle of West Virginia, and in the Virginia counties adjoining West Virginia, precipitation is running 2 1/2 to 4 1/2 inches below average. Year to date precipitation is following a similar trend.

Current (May 6) streamflow data from the U.S. Geological Survey shows that streamflows are around normal or below normal. Streamflow tends to quickly respond to rainfall or a lack of rainfall. Groundwater levels are also generally near or below normal and tend to respond slowly to rainfall or a lack of rainfall.

The weather outlook through the next couple of weeks calls for above normal rainfall (and possibly much above normal early in the period. Temperatures are expected to average out to about normal for the period, though above normal days appear to be a bit more possible than below normal days. 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 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 longer term 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. Above normal rainfall is expected over the next week or two (in the short term), but the effects of this rainfall on water resources has yet to be seen. 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 (even abundant further south) 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 a long term decrease in the upcoming weeks but remain sufficient with no water shortages expected in the next several weeks. Above normal rainfal in the short term is expected to give water resources and supplies a boost.

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