BOSTON (CBS) – A lot of Massachusetts was upgraded (or ought to I say downgraded) to part two of drought surveillance Thursday. Roughly 55% of the state of Massachusetts is presently in a “average” drought (Part 2). This can be a vital improve from final week when the identical areas had been solely rated as “unusually dry”, also called Part 1.
Bored with listening to about phases this spring and summer season? Me too.
It is comparable this week in New Hampshire and Maine. Over 72% of the state of New Hampshire transitioned from unusually dry to average drought this week, and so did greater than 47% of Maine.
What does all of it imply precisely?
Effectively, there are 5 levels of drought as shaped by america Drought Monitor:
1- Unusually dry
2 – Average drought
3 – Extreme drought
4 – Excessive drought
5 – Distinctive drought
The Drought Monitor is a collaboration between the Nationwide Drought Mitigation Heart (NDMC) on the College of Nebraska-Lincoln, the Nationwide Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the US Division of Agriculture (USDA). It’s utilized by state and native authorities to set off drought-related responses (e.g. water bans), and it’s also utilized by the federal authorities for catastrophe submitting and tax deferrals.
We’re presently in a drought categorised as short-term. The present water scarcity actually solely lasts a month or two. The previous two years have been exceptionally moist, about 10 to 20 inches above the 2 yr common in most areas. And from April we had been doing effectively within the water division. Actually, I believe lots of people would have welcomed a dry monitor within the spring.
Our water issues began in Could. Since Could 17, Boston, Worcester and lots of areas within the Northwest have had an inch of rainfall. This is without doubt one of the 5 driest intervals on these dates in recorded historical past. Harmony NH was solely 0.18 inches in that interval, by far the driest ever recorded for this information.
So it was positively dry. The lawns are tanning and lots of cities are putting restrictions. To place issues in perspective, the present drought is a drop within the ocean in comparison with what we skilled a couple of years in the past in 2015-2016. Throughout these two years, most of our space averaged 10 to 15 inches under common rainfall. The reservoirs hit all-time lows, and within the fall of 2016, a lot of Massachusetts hit stage 4 (excessive drought) on the drought monitor. The present drought must span a number of seasons for this to occur once more. . . extraordinarily unlikely.
I’ve to confess that I’ve blended emotions concerning the present drought state of affairs. You may argue that the timing is definitely not that unhealthy in any case. The sunny route has resulted in a push strawberry harvest this yr. This yr there are considerably fewer mosquitos. And with the current push into al fresco eating, eating places definitely aren’t complaining. So it isn’t all unhealthy.
And as you all know, New England climate can change shortly. With an lively hurricane season, we might actually meet up with any remaining tropical system that received via right here.
Some cities have solely gained a foothold previously few days with the occasional downpour right here and there, and there are some further possibilities for showers and thunderstorms this weekend.
The underside line is that you need to observe the restrictions your metropolis has positioned on water conservation, however do not let the drought get you down. Concentrate on the constructive! Go outdoors and absorb the sunshine and benefit from the summer season as finest you may.
Observe Terry on Twitter @TerryWBZ