While last year , 2011 was the wettest year on record for our area, 2012 is turning out to be the complete opposite.
We are now entering a drought situation in the forecast area due to lack of snow during the winter and really just lack of rainfall or any type of precipitation since January
Here is the latest drought monitor, its amazing just how much of the country is covered in drought conditions
The drought is now spreading up the eastern sea board, very typical of La Nina which we have had this winter and spring so far.
Keep in mind that our monthly averages are around 4 inches of rain or liquid for each month of the year, we average a little bit more than 4 inches each month but im going by 4 inches
January was our wettest month so far this year which had 50-75% less of our average monthly rain fall with about 2-3 inches area wide
February was a bit drier still with most of the area getting between 1-2 inches area wide, 50% or less, most areas had less than 50%
And March so far is even DRIER with the area averaging less than 1 inch area wide and March is coming to an end, at the very most March will end with 1 inch, if that, the forecast area has between .50-.75 of liquid this month
So far for this year, the area sits at 4-5 inches of liquid for the year so far, based on the fact that all our months average around or a little over 4 inches, we should be at or over 12 inches for the year so far, so we are 7-8 inches below normal which is A LOT.
The only reason we are only in a slight drought so far, was all the rain and snow we got last year, it was the wettest year on record and we had 4x the annual rainfall , that helped us out big time these last few months but now that’s all dried up. If we only had a normal year last year, we would be in a moderate to severe drought right now
All of New York State and Pennsylvania has issued a ban on open burning/fire until at least May 15th due to the developing drought, I expect this to expand in the coming weeks as I don’t see much relief and no real significant rainfall, besides an occasional cold front.
Whats causing this is La Nina and the massive ridge that has controlled much of the US since last fall, we have had little in the way of any major storms since October and really no major storms since the start of 2012. The ridge and zonal pattern has led to either storms tracking too far north to have any impact on us or just very weak and fast-moving storm systems.ig time as they have been rather active with cut off lows, or storms that just stall and spin for days, this has been because of the SE ridge forcing storms to stay that far west
Now there is some hope in the long-range, as La Nina is now gone , once we get a El nino to develop the sub tropical jet should become more active but other factors will determine whether or not WE get impacted by those storm systems but the next several weeks I don’t see much relief, cause remember we need to get average rainfall PLUS make up for the 7-8 inch deficit.
Theres no sign of any real significant storms in the forecast but instead a continuation of only these little events that we have been getting a quarter-inch or less out of and even these are few and far between. I do see an increase in potential cold fronts as the pattern becomes more troughy but like I said we have to get not only average but above average monthly rainfall to make up for the 8 inch deficit and a few extra cold fronts wont even get us to average
Fire danger is very high throughout the area and that should only get worse , at least the next several weeks anyway
Ill be updating on the latest drought information, on water restrictions that probably will arise and any other things pertaining to drought such as fire dangers ETC