Thursday, April 30, 2009

Mid Atlantic Drought Update: Dryness Spreads Northward

1:30 pm Update: Added Washington, DC data and chart

Original post:
The dryness associated with record heat in the Mid Atlantic and Northeast has increased the extent of the minimal drought coverage in those areas. This week's U.S. Drought Monitor, released this morning, shows Maryland, Delaware, and New Jersey continuing with 100% in the Abnormally Dry (D0) category. Meanwhile, Virginia has increased from 80% to 85%. The extent of the dry area has expanded to the north, with the Northeast overall rising from 33% to 48%. The biggest increases are in Pennsylvania, rising from 56% to 91%, and New York (8% to 32%). Connecticut has also increased, from 67% to 79%. The Abnormally Dry area has crept northward into western Massachusetts; that state's coverage has increased from 0 to 25%.

In the Washington DC area, the mostly dry week has added to the accumulated deficit. The year-to-date precipitation totals and departures from average are:
Washington National: 9.22"/-24%
Washington Dulles: 9.51"/-24%
Baltimore (BWI): 10.86"/-18%

Images: U.S. Drought Monitor for week ending April 28 (yellow shading indicates Abnormally Dry/D0 conditions); Washington DC 90-day precipitation from Climate Prediction Center/NCEP/NWS


Anonymous said...

Rainfall in DC last year was above average, and these data show precipitation that is well within year-to-year variation. This 'drought' talk is statistical malarkey. Try switching off your computer and taking a look out the window some time. There's no drought here.

CapitalClimate said...

As noted, the Mid Atlantic is in category D0, which is the lowest category in a 5-level drought classification scheme. Although April precipitation has been above normal, it doesn't make up for a record dry first quarter of the year. If you have a problem with that, please send your complaints to the USDA and NOAA, who put their names on the analysis reported here, unlike your anonymous rude comments.

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