Half of the Midstate is reporting abnormally dry conditions

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – The new Drought Monitor released this morning, Thursday, September 8, reports that the drought and dry conditions across the Northeast have expanded. In particular the severe drought in southern New York has gotten worse with continued drought conditions across northern PA. Moderate drought conditions stretch into Mifflin County and central Juniata County, but the major local change is for areas west of the Susquehanna River. All of Juniata, Cumberland, Adams, and Franklin Counties have been now placed in the “abnormally dry” outlook, which is the first step before declaring drought conditions.

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This updated drought outlook agrees with the Drought Watch issued by DEP (shown below) last month for 34 counties including Dauphin, Juniata, Lebanon, Mifflin, and Perry. Just this week Cumberland County was also added to the Drought Watch. A drought watch declaration calls for a voluntary five-percent reduction in non-essential water use. See our recent story about water conservation by clicking here.

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Map courtesy of PA DEP: www.dep.pa.gov/drought

Our forecast only calls for a few chances of hit-or-miss thunderstorms through the upcoming weekend (September 8-11). Overall, the heat and dry weather has taken its toll throughout the summer and we still do not see much change in the forecast over the next two weeks. The warm and humid pattern looks to continue even as a front this weekend knocks temperatures back closer to seasonable levels for early next week. There are signs next week that some more heat will not be far away to our south, it just remains a question if we see that hot air arriving locally. The Climate Prediction Center’s latest outlooks (see below) do show a hot and dry stretch of weather continuing through the middle of September.

Temperature outlook through mid-September from the Climate Prediction Center issued September 7, 2016:

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Precipitation outlook through mid-September from the Climate Prediction Center issued September 7, 2016:

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