22 September 2019
The ground in my neighborhood is parched dry and the leaves are wilting. It’s beginning to look like a drought in Pittsburgh. Is it so?
As of this morning Pittsburgh’s September rainfall total was 1.39 inches above normal, a statistical anomaly. We had a record rainfall event on September 1 (3.38″) and nothing to speak of since then.
If we don’t include the deluge on September 1st, precipitation is 1.9 inches below normal.
Are we in a drought? Not yet, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. It takes more than three weeks without rain to make a drought. Indicators include stream flow, ground water and soil moisture. With a year-to-date excess of 9.44 inches, our drought severity index is zero.
The weather forecast calls for showers tomorrow. I wonder if it will rain.
(photos and graph by Kate St. John, drought monitor map from droughtmonitor.unl.edu)
p.s. See a current map of the Long Term Palmer Drought Severity Index here.