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
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.