Most of Connecticut ‘abnormally dry’ ... again

October 2, 2017 GMT

With below-average rainfall and warmer than usual temperatures, most of Connecticut is one step from being in a moderate drought.

The “abnormally dry” classification by U.S. Drought Monitor comes after three months of below average rainfall.

Above normal precipitation earlier this year, took Connecticut out of a drought that was the worst in 50 years.

It’s the first time abnormally dry conditions have been seen in Connecticut since last May.

U.S. Drought Monitor late last week classified most of Fairfield, New Haven, Middlesex, New London, Tolland and Windham counties as being “abnormally dry.”

Only the Greenwich and Lake Candlewood areas are not in the abnormally dry conditions in Fairfield County.

It says nearly 67 percent of the state is abnormally dry, up nearly 50 percent than the previous assessnent of Sept. 21.

“Another week of mostly dry weather, accompanied by late-season warmth, led to the introduction of abnormal dryness in several areas,” U.S. Drought Monitor says.

The New England Water Science Center reports low streamflow conditions in the Norwalk, Saugatuck, Pomperaug, Naugatuck, Quinnipiac rivers.

Rainfall totals vary across southwest Connecticut.

Figures from the Northeast Regional Climate Center show Danbury airport is 12.8 includes below the 37.20 inches that should have fallen by this time of year.

Tweed-New Haven Airport in East Haven is 15.32 inches below its more than 35 inch average this time of year.

At Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Stratford, year-to-date precipitation totals are 30.32 inches, more than 2 inches below average.

September’s average temperature was 4.6 degrees above normal in Danbury, 4 degrees higher at White Plains airport near Greenwich; around three degrees above normal at Sikorsky and Tweed-New Haven airports.

For all of western Connecticut, the Climate Preciption Center forecasts about a 40 percent change of below normal precipitation for the next month.

It also forecasts a 70 percent chance of above normal temperatures to the end of October.

Greenwich Conservation Director Denise Savageau said late late month although it rained more than average in April, May and June — July, August and September have been dry.

“We are seeing a trend now,” she said. “We get a lot of rain at once and then a dry period,” she said.

“As of Sept. 21, we are at 62.1 percent in the Greenwich Reservoir, below the 20-year average,” which is about 70 percent at this time of year, she said.

But the news was not all bad, she said. Last year at this time, the reservoirs were about 32 percent filled.

Previous reporting by Jennifer Turiano was used in this story.