NWS: Rainfall totals inch past yearly average
In another sign that our long drought appears to be coming to an end, rainfall totals for the year have now exceeded average levels.
According to the National Weather Service, Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Stratford has received 10.8 inces or rainfall this year, slightly above average total of 9.94 inches.
Yes, it’s not a big departure from the average rainfall, but it’s still welcome news to the drought that was caused by many months of below-average rainfall.
U.S. Drought Monitor has classified the region’s dry status to “abnormally dry” along the shoreline from Greenwich to Milford is classified and a moderate drought for the rest of Fairfield and New Haven counties. That’s an improvement from a severe drought a few weeks ago. A change in the region’s drought status could happen Thursday when Drought Monitor releases its weekly assessment.
It was Friday’s heavy rainfall that inched most of Connecticut into positive territory with normal rainfall for the year.
Totals from the NWS and the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network reported significant rainfall totals from Friday’s storm.
1.30 inches in Stratford and Norwalk
1.14 in Stamford
1.12 in both Bridgeport and Darien
1.10 inches in New Canaan
1.08 inches in Ridgefield, Derby and Milford
1.04 inches in Monroe
1.02 inches in Newtown
1.01 inches in Shelton.
The NWS says more rain is in the forecast for next week with up to three-quarters of an inch likely on Tuesday.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s spring outlook says drought conditions “are favored to improve” in the Northeast.
Yet, despite that fact we now have above normal rainfall for the years, there’s still a big rainfall deficit to make up.
The drought officially began in June 2014, and has gone on for about 30 months. In the 1960s, the state’s rainfall was 27 to 36 inches below normal. At its peak last summer the current drough was 18 to 22 inches below normal in Fairfield County.
This week, Aquarion said regional reservoirs have been re-charged by the recent wet weather, but they’re still below normal.
“We’re not there yet,” said a Aquarion spokesman Peter Fazekas. “But we’ll take every drop we can get.”
Water-restrictions will remain in effect for at least another month, he said, at which time officials will decide whether they will continue.
Fazekas said that some reservoirs look full to motorists, but the system relies on more than one body of water.
“We’ve been getting some calls about this. If you look at the Putnam Reservoir (off the Merritt Parkway in Greenwich), it looks basically full. But you’ve got to remember that one reservoir, that’s not the whole system. A tremendous amount of water actually comes from Bargh Reservoir (in the northwest corner of Stamford), which still has a ways to go to fill.”