The new national drought assessment maps were released today, and to no one's surprise, much of New England has been elevated from abnormally dry to moderate drought status.
Here is our summary from the National Drought Monitor at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln:
"Dry conditions over the past few months led to the introduction of moderate drought (D1) from much of central and eastern Connecticut and northern Rhode Island northeastward to northern Middlesex County, Massachusetts. Recent streamflows are low in these areas. Farther north, abnormally dry (D0) conditions were expanded in southwestern Maine and over most of New Hampshire, with the exception of the Merrimack and Hillsborough County areas in the south. Continuing dryness led to the expansion of moderate drought (D1) around Kennebec County south into northern York County. In Cumberland County, Gray, Maine is currently 9.15 inches below normal since June 1, while Portland is 6.74 inches below normal, also since June 1."
Not all of New England is dry. Cape Cod and The Island's have more than twice the rainfall as most of the region.
Rainfall totals since Sept. 1:
New Haven, CT 2.30"
Bedford, MA 2.62"
Portland, ME 2.85"
Westfield, MA 2.96"
Worcester, MA 3.23"
Bangor, ME 3.89"
Concord, NH 3.94"
Boston, MA 4.22"
Burlington, VT 4.26"
Warwick, RI 4.45"
Caribou, ME 4.79"
Taunton, MA 5.18"
Hyannis, MA 7.04"
Nantucket, MA 12.40"
The climatalogical average rainfall for the period Sept. 1 - Oct. 20 is in the order of 5-6", so most of New England is running about a 35 percent rainfall deficit since Sept. 1.
The forecast for next week features a major weather pattern shift to colder and wetter for most of the United States. The northwest is expected to receive 10" or or more in spots, with significant flooding likely. In California, the firefighters will be helped with a couple of doses of rain that may exceed an inch or two in the gauge.
Here in the northeast, we may have 1-3" in the Tuesday-Friday time frame.
Out west, the mountains will get several feet of snow. In New England way may have a few flakes in our mountains by next weekend.