DROUGHT UPDATE: Virginia’s shrinking drought
PHOTO: Ken Crouch, Richmond, VA
RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – In the past week, Abnormally Dry conditions shrunk in parts of central Virginia to its lowest level in more than three months. Here is the latest U.S. Drought Monitor for Virginia:
Despite the severe weather and tornadoes that accompanied Friday’s storm system, it did bring beneficial heavy rainfall to parts of the Commonwealth in need of rain. And the showery weather over the past week has also helped erode some of the dry conditions away. Here’s the rainfall over the past week:
Now look at our departure-from-normal rainfall year-to-date, and you’ll see that even though the drought conditions are better now than they were even a week or a month ago, we are still lagging behind in central Virginia:
For example, Richmond International Airport is reporting a deficit of 4.53 inches for year-to-date precipitation (as of June 6, 2012). Our current rain gauge tally at RIC stands at 13.18 inches, while the average year-to-date precipitation by early June is higher at 17.71 inches. We’re even lagging behind where we were at this time last year (which was 16.40 inches, by the way). But if we pick up good Summer-time thunderstorms and storm tracks continue to favor us, the outlook through the end of August is just fine for Virginia:
If you’re looking at that map above aghast at other parts of the country, let me show you the National Drought Map, where you can see especially the Southeast is experiencing the worst drought conditions possible: Extreme and Exceptional.
The Atlantic Hurricane Season has favored the drought-stricken Southeast so far with Tropical Storms Alberto and Beryl providing much-needed rains there, but they still have a long way to go. Although no one wishes for tropical cyclones to make landfall along with their destructive winds and waves, their heavy rainfall would truly be the silver lining.