Mainers have been spoiled by an unseasonably warm and dry summer ― great weather for grilling, walks in the park, and doing most any outdoor sport you can think of.
It’s come with a price.
With the latest drought monitor released on Thursday, nearly 90 percent of Maine is experiencing abnormally dry conditions. Over 75 percent is in a moderate drought. Parts of Aroostook County have entered a severe drought.
This very dry stretch of weather can be traced back to the beginning of May. Since then, Mainers haven’t had any systems bring us a soaking rain. We missed a golden opportunity with Tropical Storm Isaias to make up some ground on our rainfall deficit, as most of the rain with Isaias fell in Vermont and upstate New York.
Portland’s rainfall is running nearly four inches below normal since the beginning of May. Augusta and Bangor managed to get some much-needed rain in July, so their deficits aren’t quite as bad. In parts of southern New Hampshire, deficits are worse.
Concord and Manchester are around five to six inches below normal on rainfall.
Other than a few scattered showers across the interior this weekend, it will be another dry weekend in many communities. While great for getting outdoors, this will continue to put a strain on water resources, landscaping and crops.
The extended outlook does not look promising for drought relief either.
Despite a chance of afternoon thunderstorms almost each day next week, computer models are predicting well under a half inch of rain in many areas over the next seven days. It is possible that a thunderstorm could give the lawn and garden a good soaking, but it likely won’t do much for the drought. It’s going to take a good rainstorm to make a dent, but that doesn’t appear to be likely for the foreseeable future.
The drought will likely get worse before it gets better.