How dry has it been across the Finger Lakes, Central New York, and Southern Tier?
The answer, despite some much needed rainfall this week in precipitation-heavy, slow moving thunderstorms is ‘exceptionally’.
With few exceptions, the latest data from the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and NYS Mesonet at the University of Albany, shows that precipitation deficits for the summer remain exceptionally high.
The latest data even prompted the Department of Environmental Conservation to classify the entire state in ‘high fire risk’ category.
The entire state is now at a high risk for fires, the state said in a press release Friday. Winds will add fuel to any outdoor fires that become uncontrolled.
How much rainfall is needed?
The latest data paints a bleak picture for parts of the Finger Lakes, Central New York, and Southern Tier.
Areas in Ontario, Livingston, and Steuben counties in the Finger Lakes and Southern Tier are running rainfall deficits of 2-7 inches. Meanwhile, most locations in Central New York are seeing rainfall deficits of 3-4 inches.
What is the drought situation?
The U.S. Drought Monitor shows that most of those regions 3+ inches behind on rainfall are either considered abnormally dry or in a Moderate Drought. None of those locations have been moved into Severe Drought classification, but experts warn that without a major pattern change in the coming days that could be a problem.
Even with rainfall this week in localized thunderstorms- the region didn’t see any significant area-wide rain, which is necessary at this point to start to cut in to the deficit.