2 August 2020
It’s been so dry in western Pennsylvania this summer that we find ourselves wishing for rain. Yesterday some areas were lucky. It rained 0.61 inches at Pittsburgh’s airport but not throughout the region. Precipitation is still down -2.24 inches since June 1. Are we in a drought?
The US. Drought Monitor map (28 July 2020 above) shows drought conditions and severity across the country. Pale orange in southwestern Pennsylvania indicates areas of Moderate Drought with short-term impacts (“S“). Yellow is Abnormally Dry.
The map above changes quickly if it rains heavily one day. The Drought Severity Index (Long Term Palmer) map, below, charts prolonged abnormal dryness or wetness and matches what gardeners and farmers are dealing with. Southwestern PA has felt like it’s in a drought and, yes, according to the Palmer Index the situation is Severe. (Black on the map is missing data.)
Our situation in Pennsylvania is mild, though. The real concern is out West where the Drought Monitor is bright red (Extreme Drought) with long term impacts (“L“) and the Palmer Index is dark orange.
West Texas is suffering the double whammy of rampant COVID-19 + extreme drought. Today’s a good day to count our blessings in southwestern Pennsylvania.