Wednesday, April 26, 2017

All Those Gloomy Spring Days We've Had Are Good News

OK, folks, I've heard some of you complaining we've had maybe a bit more than our share of gloomy days here in New England so far this spring.

Yellow and orange areas on this map are still dry
or in drought. It's a lot less than it was a few months ago

Buck up! The timing of this precipitation was perfect to really ease the drought we were in last fall.

I had been worried that it would remain dry, and the drought would intensify this spring and summer, leading to more well failures, water shortages, crop problems and the like.

But at least here in the Champlain Valley of Vermont, precipitation has been above normal since February.

The U.S. Drought Monitor comes out every Thursday, and it will be interesting to see if there will be even more improvement in the Northeast in the past week when we get new data tomorrow.

As of last week, just over 22 percent of  the Northeast region, which extends from West Virginia to Maine, was in drought or at least abnormally dry.  . That compares to 70 percent of the region being dry at the end of December.

Severe drought in southern New England has gone away completely.

Here in Vermont, drought conditions are hanging tough in a small area in the mid-Connecticut River valley in and near White River Junction, but the rest of the state is fine.

Droughts are easier to break when leaves are not on the trees yet. Leafed out trees suck up a lot of water from the ground, all other things being equal.

During last night's mild showers, I noticed the trees in the Champlain Valley really started to show signs of green.

No worries, though. If rainfall remains near normal for the rest of the spring and summer, we'll have no trouble with drought.

In the short term, the next week or two, the weather pattern looks active, so chances are good we'll get more spring showers.

Even if eventually does turn dry again, at least we won't start out in the hole in terms of water supplies. Though I hope some steady drenchings keep hitting the White River Junction area.

So enjoy the sunny days, but rejoice in the rain, too. We still could use it. and it's good for all of us.

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