Thursday, July 28, 2016

Drought Deepening In Northeastern United States

Areas in brownish or orange colors are in drought
Yellow areas are abnormally dry, or
on the cusp of a drought.  
California gets all the attention when it comes to drought news, but parts of the Northeast this summer are getting into trouble with exceptionally dry conditions, too.

Says the Weather Channel:

"Soil moisture anomalies are well below average, as of July 26, in parts of central and western New York, northern and western Pennsylvania and southern New England. In parts of western New York and northern Pennsylvania, these values are in the lowest 1 percent of all historical values for the date."

Connecticut and New Jersey are both under voluntary water restrictions. People shouldn't water their lawns, let leaks slide or constantly let water run in the house.  

In New Hampshire and Massachusetts, farmers are having to choose which crops to water as irrigation ponds dry up. They're abandoning some crops to the dry weather in favor of ones that require more TLC.

Massachusetts residents have been warned several times in recent weeks of high fire dangers, and have been told to be careful with camp fires, smoking material and the like.

In Vermont, the level of Lake Champlain was down to 94.72 feet above sea level as of Wednesday. The lake level normally continues to fall through the first half of autumn, and could flirt with record low levels if this weather pattern continues into September.

Some river and streams in central New England are at near record low levels now.

In much of New York and the southern half of New England, rainfall is running five or six inches below normal so far this year. It's also been a relatively hot late spring and summer, with plenty of days with sunshine and lower than average humidity.

If that won't dry things out, nothing will.

There's a good chance some beneficial rains will hit southern New England Friday, but it won't be nearly enough to make things better.

In fact, it some ways it might be too much of a good thing in places like Connecticut and Rhode Island. The rain could be torrential Friday, which could cause local flash flooding. But such rains run right off. You need a slow, steady rain to ease a drought.

The dryness isn't as bad in northern New England, because there has been some rain in the past couple weeks up there.

Still, the forecast for places like northern New York, Vermont and New Hampshire is pretty dry, aside from some showers today that won't be all that extreme.

The showers and thunderstorms that have been coming through every once in awhile are not enough to solve the drought.

Worse, the weather pattern supporting the dry weather is expected to last into October, so things could easily get worse.

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