Every week at about 8:30 a.m. local time the U.S. Drought Monitor releases a status update and outlook for the current drought conditions. The drought areas have been increasing this year as a lack of rain is causing some folks across the lower 48 to worry. Well I have good and bad news this morning. The drought situation, according to this monitoring source, has not gotten any better. At the same time, it hasn't really gotten worse. From last week to this week the scene hasn't changed all that much.
Courtesy U.S. Drought Monitor
I've highlighted the blue box area to draw your attention to the change within the last week. The D0 area is abnormally dry, indicated by yellow. That saw the biggest change in the last week with abnormally dry conditions increasing 2 percentage points. The others (moderate and severe drought) remained the same. Further down the list though, to '3 months ago' notice the numbers are much lower. That's showing how dry the weather has trended since the new year began.
Closer to home....
The situation hasn't changed either. The last week to current status is the same in all categories and all of our region is at least seeing abnormally dry conditions (which the yellows do carry over into the Adirondack Region of northern New York). The Upper Valley and much of New Hampshire remains in a moderate drought. We did pick up about a half inch in many of our northern towns last week, but only about a tenth of an inch or less closer to the Massachusetts border.
The same U.S. Drought Monitor also releases a forecast on where some areas can get relief, but take into consideration this map has the drought improvement forecast through July 2012. In the near term we may still get some improvement in southern New England and our neck of the woods. That's because of a potential coastal storm that could bring very beneficial rain from Saturday through Tuesday. Here's the latest on that storm.
This particular model has pushed the moisture off the east coast and into the Atlantic, phasing the northern/southern streams of the jet stream too late for us to get the beneficial rain. This is a possibility, as is the more inland track with us getting wetter. Still uncertainties within Mon-Tues, we'll be trying to narrow it down!
-Meteorologist Steve Glazier