September 23, 2018
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Heavy Thursday rain not enough to break southern Maine’s drought

By Troy R. Bennett, BDN Staff

PORTLAND, Maine — Thursday’s statewide rainfall is welcome news to gardeners but it will still leave southern Maine in a moderate drought. The expected rain will at least bring June’s precipitation totals up to near normal levels, however.

“Today’s rain will be very beneficial,” said Tom Hawley at the National Weather Service in Gray. “It’s moderate right now and should sink down in the ground but I don’t think it will be enough to get us out of our drought.”

Prior to Thursday’s wet weather, Portland had received just slightly over half its normal 3.46 inches of rain for the month. Forecasts have called for one to two more inches on Thursday, into Friday. That would bring the monthly total in line with past years.

However, southern Maine, below Augusta, started the week 3.29 inches of rain below normal for the year. The forecasted amounts will not even that number out, and still leave about 14 percent of the state with moderate drought conditions.

Portland usually has usually received 22.66 inches of rain for the year by now. This year, it’s only gotten 19.37 inches.

Courtesy National Integrated Drought Information System | BDN
Courtesy National Integrated Drought Information System | BDN
This map shows the drought conditions in Maine as of June 26, 2018. The yellow shaded area is abnormally dry and the brown shaded area is in moderate drought.

According to the Weather Service’s website, a moderate drought is characterized by potentially damaged crops and a high fire risk. It also brings low well and reservoir levels.

The Weather Service is predicting hot, humid weather for the weekend, into the middle of next week, but no more significant rainfall.

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