Drought Conditions Expand

Unusually dry conditions are becoming very apparent across the region. Weather systems have brought rain to the area from time to time but the coverage has been spotty and hot temperatures have helped to dry out the soil. Temperatures have soared into the 90s a dozen times since June 1.

As of Friday evening(July 20), BWI Marshall has received 2.87″ of rain in July, .38″ above average. Since June 1 the airport has measured 5.79″, .85″ below average. This may not seem too extreme until put into perspective. Rains in the area have not been evenly distributed. The Inner Harbor has received only 1.74″ in July and 4.19″ since June 1 while TV Hill has measured only 1.49″ for July and 3.46″ since June 1. These numbers highlight the scattered nature and varied amounts of rainfall the region has received so far this summer.

Below is an Associated Press story on the drought situation in Maryland followed by a map prepared by the TV-11 Art Department outlining the degrees of drought in the state.

UNDATED (AP) – The latest information compiled by the National
Drought Mitigation Center shows three quarters of Maryland is
experiencing a moderate to severe drought.
The drought map released yesterday shows drought conditions in
all or parts of 20 counties and the city of Baltimore. Three of
those counties — Charles, Saint Mary’s and the southern part of
Calvert — are the areas listed as having a severe drought.
The moderate drought area includes the lower two-thirds of the
Eastern Shore and most of central Maryland. The extreme western and
northeastern corners of the state are listed only as “abnormally
dry.”
Moderate and severe drought are the least serious of the four
drought categories measured in the weekly survey by researchers at
the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
A spokesman for Governor Martin O’Malley says state officials
are considering asking the federal Department of Agriculture to
declare a drought emergency for parts of Maryland. The designation
would free up federal aid for farmers who have lost crops.

On the Net:
http://www.drought.unl.edu/dm/monitor.html

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

The area will be getting some relief from the extreme heat and humidity for the next few days but significant rainfall appears to be unlikely in the near future.

John Collins

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