Drought Monitor Worse…But Why?

(WTNH) – This morning the weekly U.S. Drought Monitor came out and has actually expanded the drought conditions across Connecticut from 69% of the state in a severe drought to 83%.

Above you can see the updated deficit numbers as of this morning and along the shoreline there’s only a 3.44″ deficit. However, in northern CT where it’s categorized as an extreme drought there is a 12.42″ deficit. You’re probably asking why it’s been expanded when parts of the state picked up over 3 inches of rainfall the past 2 days, and I don’t blame you. I was wondering myself, so I did a little digging.

Although the U.S. Drought Monitor gets released every Thursday morning, the data they use for their weekly rainfall observations actually ends every Tuesday morning. Keep in mind, here in Connecticut it didn’t really start raining heavily until Tuesday afternoon into the evening and then again Wednesday afternoon and evening.

Also, the week leading up to Tuesday was relatively dry, so it actually makes sense that the new map was expanded. But what about for next week, will they shrink the severity of the drought?

drought 2015 2016  Drought Monitor Worse...But Why?

If you were driving home from work either Tuesday or Wednesday evening you’re probably saying to yourself, “There’s no way we’re still in a drought, it was POURING!” Keep in mind that not only has 2016 been below average for rainfall but 2015 was just as bad.

Going back to the beginning of 2015, the shoreline is over 11 inches below normal and inland communities are close to 20 inches! This drought has been going on much longer than just this summer.

According to the Department of Public Health in Connecticut, reservoirs in Connecticut are about 74% of normal. Did the rain the past couple days put a dent in the deficit? Of course it did, but we’re not out of the drought just yet.

I’d expect them to shrink the severity of the drought but there’s no way we’re in the clear just yet! If you live on well water, I’d suggest still following all the tips on conserving water!

Thanks for reading!

-Meteorologist Kevin Arnone

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