Friday, May 04, 2012

Slowly Improving Dryness

Yesterday's update from the University of Nebraska's "Drought Monitor" showed no substantial change in the region's dry spell status, with the 60% of the Northeast in some form of dry spell or minor drought.  It is down from 64% in last week's survey, mostly across Upstate New York, but with recent rainfall the trends of dryness are being stopped and even slightly reversed.

In the last 90 days, most of the Mid Atlantic and Southern New England is running at below 75% of normal rainfall, with the New York City area running at or below 50% during that timeframe.  While these levels aren't zapping local water reservoirs, many of which were flush with rainfall from last Fall, the coastal storm of two weeks ago was a proverbial drop in the bucket for many places in our region as it was the only rain of significance during the month of April.   The good news is that we've had some decent rains early on from thunderstorms in spots the past couple of nights, which has helped mute the rainfall deficits and has shaved back some of the deficits on rainfall for the year.

The driest spots overall are in Berks County through the western suburbs down to Philadelphia -- rainfall deficits there top five inches year-to-date, with deficits approaching six inches in Reading.  Rainfall has been more abundant towards Trenton and the southern half of New Jersey and percentages to normal are over 70 in both Trenton and AC.

We don't need deluges but continued "normalcy" or near normalcy in rainfall will help us on the road to dry spell avoidance down the line.