When was our last 'drought?" (7-20-12)
Yesterday morning data came out from the National Weather Service came out that confirmed that a large part of central New York was in a moderate drought. That came as no surprise as our rainfall over the last 5 or 6 weeks has been spotty at best. When I passed along the information of drought along about the drought classification to our newsroom the first question was “When was the last time we were in drought?” That sent me back into the weather office to do some digging. My intuition was that I was going to have to look several years, at least. However, the search began and ended with last year. Here is a look at the drought map for August 2nd last year along with our current map.This did surprise me a bit since I didn’t remember it being a particularly dry summer last year, plus we were coming off the wettest spring on record. Here are the monthly rain totals last year compared with this year.
It certainly seems like a big difference from one year to the next but yet we find ourselves in the same classification. Part of the difference could come from the scattered nature of precipitation. We are talking about one specific point, Syracuse, and rainfall in other parts of the region could have been lower last summer. Secondly, temperatures were very warm in July. It was the second warmest July on record. That could have lead to some some very high evaporation rates. Last week, we were evaporating almost a quarter of an inch of water a day.The most important question is when will we see more rain. From the end of this weekend through the middle of next week we run the risk of some scattered showers and thunderstorms but the coverage of rain will be typical of summer -- scattered. It is certainly not a guarantee of rain where you live and it is not the steady, all day rain that would be most beneficial to those with wells, gardens and farms across central New York.
|Month||2011 Rainfall||2012 Rainfall|
|July ||3.30”||.37” (So far)|
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