It's Thursday! That means the drought update has been released from the Drought Monitor:
The statistics on drought are always valid up until the Tuesday prior to the release. So for this week, the data runs through July 31, 2012. You can see areas that are getting hit hard by this drought and it is the Midwest and Plain states. Every state in the country has at least some form of drought. The darker colors of red and maroon show extreme to exceptional drought, while the yellows show abnormally dry conditions.
When looking at the change over the last week, there are mixed results:
Here's a look at where we stand locally in New England and the rest of the Northeast.
The graphic on the left hand side is hard to read but we've seen some improvement in drought conditions in the Northeast. There are still abnormally dry conditions in southern Vermont, New Hampshire and a lot of New York. Here's what the stats look like in our area on rainfall:
This is rainfall compared to average for the year. Notice the southern areas are much drier than the northern cities that I have data for. The region is averaging about three inches dry on the year. The hard part about telling which area is most dry is a lack of climate data. Thunderstorms can hit one town while leaving others dry, so to get a fine resolution of precipitation data is tough. However this does paint a pretty good picture of the idea that we are dry on the year.
This is the data for this summer. In the meteorology world, summer starts on June 1, instead of the 21 in the astronomical world. June, July, and August are known as the meteorological summer months, while the remaining nine months are equally split into three seasons. Our region is about one to two inches dry on the summer with the wettest location looking like Montpelier, VT and the driest Bennington, VT. Thus that's why we have that abnormally dry yellow color on the Northeast map for southern Vermont and New Hampshire.
This data for drought is released every Thursday morning at 8:30 a.m. on the east coast, 5:30 a.m. if you live on the west coast :) You can get the data at the following link, which is where I attribute the above pictures and data from as well:
-Meteorologist Steve Glazier