December 2, 2013 - Thanks to a late November storm, precipitation for the month ended near to below average... instead of much below. Near average precipitation fell in much of the Chesapeake Bay area as well as central Virginia. Elsewhere, amounts were 1/2 to 1 1/2 inches below average. Temperatures in November were 1 (coastal areas) to 4 degrees below normal. Of the past 4 months, 3 have now had below normal temperatures (October was above) and November was the most below normal. Overall, long term dry conditions continue. Over the past 90 days, areas in central Maryland, far eastern portions of the West Virginia panhandle, northern Virginia, and much of the Delmarva Peninsula are running near to an inch or two below average. Elsewhere, precipitation has been 3 to 5 inches below average. Year to date, most of the southern portion of the MARFC service area is within a few inches of normal. A wet area is southeast Virginia running 5 to 9 inches above normal. A dry area is Allegany County, MD and Mineral County, WV where amounts have been 6 to 7 1/2 inches below normal.

The snow season has begun. Some light, hydrologically insignificant amounts are reported in far western Maryland and adjoining areas of West Virginia.

Current (December 22) streamflow data from the U.S. Geological Survey shows that streamflows have rebounded from the recent rainfall and are near normal. Groundwater levels are generally near normal though some are above.

The weather outlook into the middle of December calls for above or much above normal precipitation. Temperatures are expected to begin the period above normal but then fall back to near or below normal for much of the period. This suggests at least the possibility that some of this will fall as snow in the western higher elevations by later in the period. The NWS Climate Prediction Center's 30-day outlook for December as well as the 90 day outlook for December, 2013 through February, 2014 calls for near average precipitation and temperatures.

A soaking, late November rainfall has helped to alleviate dry conditions. Still, continued long term below average precipitation is slowly affecting water resources. But, recent precipitation along with the anticipation of additional (potentially significant) precipitation has led to an improvement in the outlook for water resources. The outlook is now good across all of the southern portion of the MARFC service area. An extended period of dry weather settled over the Mid-Atlantic, but indications suggest an easing of this lack of precipitation. Water resources and supplies are sufficient and still abundant in some places.

End.