Mid-July drought update

Abnormally dry conditions continue in Central New York.

Posted: Jul 16, 2020 8:48 PM
Updated: Jul 17, 2020 9:14 AM

The story of the summer so far has been the heat and dry weather. Rainfall in June was 25% of average for most areas. Griffiss was the 10th driest on record for the month of June, with only 1.35" (most of that fell in the last week). We saw a four day heat wave (temperatures in the 90s) in the middle of the month.

This combination of conditions has lead to minor drought conditions in the middle and end of June.  The latest map from NOAA continues the abnormally dry conditions for our area. The dought has turned severe in Northern New York. This region has been hit particularly hard.   

What exactly does this mean?  In addition to lawns turning brown, the water table is much lower than average.  That means small streams and creeks run dry, with low water levels for rivers, lakes, and ponds.  Some wells also run dry.  It's been a long time since our area had a severe drought.

Game changing rain last weekend

The most severe part of the dry spell was in late June. Since then, we've had some rainfall events, not enough to improve the drought, but enough to keep it from getting worse. The game changing rain happened over the weekend. Our entire area saw a soaking 2-4" of rainfall. This made a significant dent in the low water levels. While we could still use more rainfall, this was a huge step in the right direction.

Going forward

The weather pattern turns hot again this weekend, with temperatures back in the 90s. However, beyond the weekend, we have several chances for rain. The overall pattern favors wet weather in the northeast.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 498646

Reported Deaths: 33433
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Queens765237293
Kings749037387
Bronx552134987
Nassau494962208
Suffolk488292019
Westchester403221470
New York358973195
Rockland17832683
Richmond171741095
Orange13548505
Erie12971713
Monroe7256300
Dutchess5465163
Onondaga5399207
Albany3613136
Broome351683
Oneida2709128
Ulster251595
Niagara2065101
Putnam180563
Sullivan176548
Chemung17103
Schenectady156450
Saratoga133417
Rensselaer109442
Steuben98457
Chautauqua90513
Columbia69938
Ontario66335
Oswego6234
Tioga61030
Tompkins6090
Madison56317
Cortland5420
Greene50118
Wayne4825
Cattaraugus4706
Warren45733
Orleans40154
Otsego3985
St. Lawrence3964
Herkimer39010
Cayuga3892
Chenango3887
Genesee3845
Fulton36224
Washington33514
Livingston3038
Allegany2891
Montgomery2664
Clinton2445
Jefferson2060
Essex1970
Wyoming1865
Delaware1737
Seneca1423
Schuyler1240
Yates1217
Lewis1200
Schoharie1100
Franklin800
Hamilton160
Unassigned021
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