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DROUGHT CONDITIONS IMPROVE ACROSS THE REGION

Updated 8/3/2012

State of Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection continues a drought watch for Western Pennsylavania.

THE 15 COUNTIES UNDER A DROUGHT WATCH ARE:

ALLEGHENY... BEAVER... BUTLER... CLARION... CRAWFORD... ERIE... FAYETTE... FOREST... GREENE... LAWRENCE... MERCER... SOMERSET... VENANGO... WARREN AND WASHINGTON.

A drought watch declaration is the first level...and least severe...of the state`s three drought classifications. It calls for a voluntary 5 percent reduction in non essential water use...and puts large water consumers on notice to begin planning for the possibility of reduced water supplies. A drought warning asks residents to reduce water use voluntarily by 10-15 percent.

PA drought watch
Note: The NWS does not issue Drought Watches or Warnings, as that is the responsibility of the individual states. The NWS and partners monitor the drought conditions and issues a weekly monitor and outlook and ranks droughts on a scale from D0 through D4.


Rainfall during the second half of July 2012 has improved drought conditions in many locations in the region...but drought conditions continue. East Central Ohio received the least amount of beneficial rains and drought conditions are more severe in that area. .

How much rain is needed to end the drought? 3 to 6 inches of rain over the next 30 days is needed to end drought conditions in western Pennsylvania and 6 to 9 inches over the next 30 days in Eastern Ohio.

Latest Drought Information Statement from the National Weather Service in Pittsburgh PA.

See the following graphics and links for further information on the dry conditions.


Drought Graphic for PA WV MD

Drought Monitor National Page


USGS current 14-day average streamflow compared to historic streamflow for current day.

Ohio Pennsylvania

USGS current 14-day average streamflow compared to historic streamflow for current day.

West Virginia Maryland

 


30, 60 and 90 Day Precipitation and Percent of Normal Precipitation

30 day rainfall
30 Day Rainfall
 
30 day Percent of Normal
30 Day Rain as Percent
of Normal
60 day rainfall
60 Day Rainfall
 
60 day Percent of Normal
60 Day Rain as Percent
of Normal
90 day rainfall
90 Day Rainfall
 
90 day Percent of Normal
90 Day Rain as Percent of Normal

DROUGHT SEVERITY CLASSIFICATION (click to enlarge)

Drought Severity classification

 


SHORT TERM DROUGHT

According to the latest Short-Term Drought Indicator, which looks at the Palmer Drought Index, Palmer-Z Index, one and three month precipitation, and soil moisture, Parts of East Central Ohio have been upgraded to Drought category D2 or severe Drought classification...from the exceptional classification (D4) drought conditions several weeks ago.

Areas in Western Pennsylvania, the Panhandle of West Virginia and the West Virginia mountains are no longer classified in Drought by the short term indicators. Short term drought impacts, which are usually on a scale of 6 months or less, typically include impacts to agriculture and grasslands. 



LONG TERM DROUGHT

According to the latest Long-Term Drought Indicator, which looks at the Palmer Hydrologic Index ( precipitation from six to sixty months), most locations are near normal, due to especially wet years in 2010 and 2011, with many locations experiencing record wet years in 2011. Long-term drought impacts, which are usually on a scale of 6 months to many years, typically include impacts to water tables and reservoir levels.


 


The latest Seasonal Drought Outlook indicates improving drought conditions throughout the rest of the summer across our area. The discussion can be found here. 

 


Rainfall needed to improve (ameliorate) or end drought conditions:

USGS current 14-day average streamflow compared to historic streamflow for current day.

Amount of rainfall needed to ameliorate drought conditions Amount of rainfall needed to end drought conditions
needed to end drought needed to end drought

USGS current 14-day average streamflow compared to historic streamflow for current day.

Percent of normal rainfall needed to ameliorate drought conditions Percent of normal rainfall needed to end drought conditions
needed to end drought needed to end drought

County by County Average precipitation rainfall and departure from normal rainfall.

July 2012 Rainfall July 2012 Departure from NormalRainfalll Rainfall since January 1, 2012

Departure since January 1, 2012

County
6.17/ 2.15/ 20.32/ -2.88 ALLEGHENY
5.60/ 1.27/ 23.23/ -1.43 ARMSTRONG
4.68/ 0.67/ 15.89/ -6.45 BEAVER
5.40/ 1.11/ 19.08/ -5.03 BUTLER
4.95/ 0.32/ 20.79/ -5.08 CLARION
6.12/ 1.49/ 24.13/ -2.66 FAYETTE
5.38/ 0.76/ 19.42/ -6.29 FOREST
4.94/ 0.61/ 18.79/ -6.66 GREENE
6.54/ 1.88/ 27.28/ -0.09 INDIANA
5.41/ 0.81/ 24.24/ -2.29 JEFFERSON
4.81/ 0.79/ 17.05/ -5.28 LAWRENCE
4.56/ 0.26/ 19.04/ -4.74 MERCER
5.11/ 0.48/ 19.05/ -6.44 VENANGO
3.89/ -0.37/ 16.90/ -7.07 WASHINGTON
4.25/ -0.10/ 17.96/ -7.22 WARREN
7.01/ 2.67/ 25.53/ 0.38 WESTMORELAND
3.35/ -0.98/ 18.42/ -6.51 BELMONT
3.68/ -0.61/ 17.82/ -5.78 CARROLL
3.80/ -0.47/ 16.96/ -6.08 COLUMBIANA
3.48/ -0.82/ 18.30/ -5.42 COSHOCTON
2.84/ -1.19/ 17.23/ -5.88 GUERNSEY
3.50/ -0.77/ 17.80/ -6.02 HARRISON
4.64/ 0.34/ 18.16/ -5.83 JEFFERSON
4.92/ 0.59/ 24.08/ -2.02 MONROE
4.02/ -0.28/ 18.57/ -5.04 MUSKINGUM
5.59/ 1.32/ 22.01/ -1.79 NOBLE
3.12/ -0.94/ 17.48/ -5.77 TUSCARAWAS
4.95/ 0.67/ 18.67/ -5.76 BROOKE
4.97/ 0.70/ 17.53/ -5.88 HANCOCK
5.14/ 0.81/ 20.19/ -5.58 MARSHALL
4.24/ 0.21/ 17.72/ -6.58 OHIO
5.70/ 0.78/ 23.56/ -5.7 WETZEL
5.67/ 0.77/ 24.86/ -3.61 MARION
6.71/ 2.08/ 23.59/ -3.86 MONONGALIA
6.21/ 0.95/ 26.04/ -5.75 PRESTON
7.08/ 1.81/ 25.00/ -7.37 TUCKER
5.27/ 0.37/ 22.11/ -6.11 GARRETT

 

Link to daily County Average Precipitation Departure


Top 13 driest years on record for Pittsburgh International Airport. Most recent dry years 1995, 1988 and 1963.

Rank Rainfall Year
1 22.65" 1930
2 25.32" 1839
3 25.73" 1900
4 25.89" 1932
5 26.59" 1856
6 26.67" 1854
7 26.79" 1963
8 27.09" 1988
9 27.50" 1895
10 28.17" 1894
11 28.18" 1925
12 28.64" 1840
13 28.89" 1995

Graph of 3 driest years over the last 60 years for Pittsburgh International Airport.
Most recent dry years have been: 1963 with 26.67 inches. 1988 with 27.09 inches and 1995 with 28.89 inches.
Normal rainfall at Pittsburgh International Airport is 38.19 inches.

graph of 3 driest years


Climate reports for selected airport locations:

Pittsburgh, PA
Morgantown, WV
Zanesville, OH
New Philadelphia, OH
Wheeling, WV
Dubois, PA


Below is the latest HPC 5-Day Precipitation forecast.

 


The figures below show the  CPC 6-10 day outlook and CPC 8-14 day outlook for precipitation.

  


Below are the one month and three month climate outlooks for temperature and precipitation.


For other news and information, check back with the NWS Pittsburgh PA homepage.


Related web sites

Additional information on current drought conditions may be found at the following web addresses:

U.S. Drought Monitor...http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu
NOAA Drought Page...http://www.drought.noaa.gov
Climate Prediction Center (CPC)...http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov
Northeast Regional Climate Center...http://www.nrcc.cornell.edu/
Midwest Regional Climate Center...http://mcc.sws.uiuc.edu

Additional river information...
NWS...http://www.weather.gov/ahps
USGS...http://water.usgs.gov/