Sunny Skies on East Coast Heighten Drought Threat

November 13, 2001

The mild dry weather which the East Coast has enjoyed for almost three and a half months has unfortunately caused a serious downside, as the lack of rainfall threatens to exacerbate drought conditions throughout the region.

An investigation by Washington DC’s ABC affiliate WJLA-TV revealed that the last six weeks have been very dry, less than one quarter of the normal rainfall has occurred according to the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Last month was the third driest on record in Connecticut and New Jersey, the fourth driest in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Delaware and Virginia, and the fifth driest in Maryland, according to the Center.

While the traditional fall harvest hasn’t been affected, winter plantings will suffer if there’s no increase in rainfall. Reservoirs are beginning to dry up, and fire hazards have increased significantly throughout the region. Three New York City reservoirs currently contain only about a third of their capacity.

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