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Posted at 03:17 PM ET, 08/10/2012

Yes, D.C., we still have a drought


(NOAA, adapted by CWG)
Notwithstanding the downpours this morning, the District and a large portion of the metro region remain in moderate drought.

Writes the National Weather Service in its drought information statement:

MODERATE DROUGHT CONDITIONS CONTINUE TO BE INDICATED SOUTH OF A LINE FROM FLINT HILL  VIRGINIA TO DULLES AIRPORT TO SILVER SPRING MARYLAND TO BALTIMORE...AND NORTH OF A LINE FROM JUST EAST OF ELKTON VIRGINIA TO ORANGE TO SPOTSYLVANIA. THIS INCLUDES MUCH OF THE DC METRO.

The area generally needs to pick up 6 to 9 inches to end the drought.

Rainfall deficits (not including the 0.5” or so received this morning) over the 180 days are in the 7.0” range in the D.C. and Baltimore areas. Interestingly, though, over the last 365 days, much of the area has a surplus - owing to tropical rains last fall.


But the short-term dry conditions are taking a toll on agriculture in spots. The National Weather Service writes:

CROPS ARE GENERALLY REPORTED TO BE IN FAIR CONDITION ACROSS THE AREA...THOUGH SOME REPORTS ARE SHOWING POOR CROP CONDITIONS AND OTHERS GOOD CROP CONDITIONS DUE TO THE SPOTTY NATURE OF SUMMERTIME RAINFALL.

Regionally, drought conditions are worst in southern Maryland, particularly east of the Chesapeake Bay, where the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) has issued a drought warning.

“A drought warning calls for voluntary water use restrictions with the goal of reducing water use by 10% - 15%, “ MDE says.

Mandatory water restrictions, reserved for drought emergencies, have not yet been ordered. But water shortages are mounting in eastern Maryland.

The National Weather Service writes:

SINCE LAST OCTOBER...RAINFALL DEFICITS ARE RUNNING BETWEEN 8 AND 16 INCHES ACROSS THE LOWER MARYLAND EASTERN SHORE. . . . THIS LACK OF RAIN HAS LED TO VERY LOW STREAM FLOWS ACROSS THE REGION WITH ALL GAUGES SHOWING BELOW NORMAL FLOW WITH SOME WELL BELOW NORMAL. THIS HAS LED THE REGION TO BE DESIGNATED AS IN SEVERE DROUGHT BY THE US DROUGHT MONITOR.

After perhaps some meaningful rain this evening into a part of Saturday, generally dry conditions return Sunday into next week.

By  |  03:17 PM ET, 08/10/2012

Categories:  Latest, Droughts

 
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