Parts of Western New York in a moderate drought: Checking in with the latest drought monitor

Weather Blog

ROCHESTER, NY (WROC) – We’re just around the mid point of the month of October and yet again we’re seeing a fairly consistent dry pattern not only across western NY, but across the entire state. There are many areas across the state including parts of our own region that are considered to be in a moderate state of drought. Let’s take a look at the latest update courtesy of the United States Drought Monitor below:

Data courtesy: United States Drought Monitor

MAIN TAKEAWAYS

  • The entire region of western NY is covered in some level of drought
  • The majority of western NY is at least abnormally dry
  • Parts of central and northern NY, western NY, and the Southern Tier are considered moderately dry
  • There are 2 areas in the state considered to be in a severe drought
  • The least dry areas of the state are the Capital Region and Long Island

The NYS Drought Monitor is updated every Thursday at 8 AM. You can check in with the latest drought monitor updates HERE.

** The precipitation totals below do NOT include any new precipitation recorded during the day on October 15th.**

Where we stand:

The month to date precipitation as of the start of October 15th, courtesy of the National Weather Service in Buffalo, states we’ve had a grand total of 0.55″ of rain throughout the entire month. The normal is 1.28″ with a current running deficit of -0.73″ below normal.

If we look at the amount of precipitation we’ve received since September 1st, that number falls at 2.84″. The normal for this time period is 4.66″ making our departure from normal for that period -1.82″.

How many months were in a deficit rather than surplus this year?

According to the National Weather Service in Buffalo we’ve had a total of 5 months this year that were spent in a rain deficit for the entire month.

Across the entire northeast, localized rainfall from a number of storm systems actually brought above normal rainfall amounts to portions of northern New York and New England according to the United States Drought monitor report. Everywhere else, rain amounts fell either at or below normal as severe drought increased in coverage across western Pennsylvania, through parts of New York State, and well into New England due to more “short-term” deficits in precipitation that have worsened the situation over time. There are even areas noted to be in an extreme drought across portions of Maine, Vermont, Connecticut and Massachusetts. The large amount of drought occurring across the area has been the cause of decreasing flows of streams, rivers, and waterfalls, and decreased soil moisture.

Below are some of the impacts different levels of drought can have on the area:

Photo courtesy: droughtmonitor.unl.edu

What about the incoming rain?

We’ll have to see if we can get October’s deficit to replenish after the rain that’s already been falling across parts of the region early this evening. As noted above, the new rainfall totals anticipated from our passing rain will likely help more than not.

It also seems like unsettled weather will be sticking around for the most part well into October, and even some hopes of getting some of our first flakes to fly will help a bit in precipitation amounts.

I feel like a broken record saying this, but I’ll state the obvious. We need all the rain we could get if we want to relieve the drought-like conditions that lie across the region. The next 8-14 days according to the Climate Prediction Center does look promising at us seeing wetter skies than not, so let’s keep it coming!

Check in with the latest forecast information and updates for the Greater Rochester Area HERE.

~Meteorologist Christine Gregory

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