Northern New England Still Experiencing Drought Conditions

By Sharon Keeler
UNH News Bureau

October 2, 2001

Editors: Barry Keim is available for comment at 603-862-3136

DURHAM, N.H. -- Despite recent rainfall, most of northern New England is still experiencing conditions of moderate to severe drought. The farther north you go, the worse it gets, with areas such as Berlin, N.H., recording only 43 percent of the average amount of rain in the last two and a half months, resulting in conditions that threaten forests and water sources.

"You can draw a line essentially at the border between New Hampshire and Massachusetts," says Barry Keim, N.H. State Climatologist and associate professor in the University of New Hampshire's Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space. "Drought conditions have been persistent since the middle of July, and the recent rain has not been enough to make up for the deficit we experienced during the second half of the summer and into September."

Southern New Hampshire and coastal Maine are experiencing moderate drought conditions, determined by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). About three inches of rain would be required to dispel the drought. Most of Maine, northern New Hampshire and Vermont are experiencing severe drought conditions, where three to four inches of rain are needed.

Rainfall totals since July 18 for parts of New Hampshire:

  • Berlin 4.03 inches (9.3 inches normal), 43% of normal rainfall
  • Laconia, 4 inches (8.02 inches normal), 50% of normal rainfall
  • Durham, 5.13 inches (7.77 inches normal), 66% of normal rainfall
  • Concord, 5.45 inches (7.64 inches normal), 71% of normal rainfall
  • Manchester, 6.03 inches (8.32 inches normal), 72% of normal rainfall
  • Lebanon, 6.19 inches (8.13 inches normal), 76% of normal rainfall
  • According to current weather forecasts for northern New England, no significant rainfall is predicted for the next five days, though there is a chance of showers Friday.

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