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 southern New York, northern
Pennsylvania, and in central and northeast New Jersey. Elsewhere in
Pennsylvania and New Jersey, precipitation was around an inch below
average. Temperatures in November were 2 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, the
northern half of New Jersey and east-central Pennsylvania are 5 to
over 7 inches below average. South-central Pennsylvania amounts are
near to an inch or so above. For the rest of the northern portion of
the MARFC service area, precipitation is 1 to 5 inches below. Year to
date, much of central and east-central Pennsylvania is 7 to nearly 12
inches below normal for precipitation. This represents the most
significant long term dry area. Elsewhere, amounts are within a few
inches of normal.
The snow season has begun. As of December 2, up to 4 inches of
snow is on the ground in southern New York as well as northern and
central Pennsylvania. The water equivalent in this snow, or the
amount of water that will be released when the snow melts, is mostly
under one inch and is not considered to be hydrologically significant.
Current (December 2) streamflow data from the U.S. Geological
Survey shows that streamflows are running below or much below normal
in Pennsylvania along Interstate 80 and in the northern half of New
Jersey. Elsewhere, flows have rebounded and are near normal.
Groundwater levels have rebounded a bit and are below normal in the
northeast quarter of Pennsylvania and east-central Pennsylvania, the
Catskill Region of New York, and northern-most New Jersey. Elsewhere,
groundwater is around or above normal.
The U.S. Drought Monitor for November 26 indicates that the
northern 1/4 of New Jersey as well as the Pocono Mountain counties in
Pennsylvania are in "Moderate Drought" status. A "Moderate Drought"
means that some damage to crops and pastures will occur. This, of
course, is not a concern this time of year. "Moderate Drought" also
means that fire risk is high; streams, reservoirs, or wells are low;
and some water shortages may be developing or are imminent. These are
the likely concerns if precipitation remains below average.
The weather outlook into the middle of December calls for near or
above average precipitation in south-central New York. Above, (or
possibly much above) normal precipitation is expected elsewhere.
Temperatures are expected to begin the period above normal but then
fall back to below normal for much of the period. This suggests that
the snow currently on the ground will likely melt but more snow could
fall 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
A soaking, late November rainfall (and snow and ice further north
and west) has helped to alleviate dry conditions. Continued long term
below or much below average precipitation continues to slowly affect
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 southern New York, Pennsylvania, and New
Jersey. An extended period of dry weather has 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.