Don’t Sweat That Drought Watch

Last week we were under a drought watch. This week we’re hoping that they’ll wrap up construction of the “Evan Almighty” ark in Crozet. Jessica Kitchin reports in today’s Progress that the buckets of rain that have been falling for days now are enough to end short term drought concerns, though there’s no telling what things will be like in a couple of months. It hasn’t been enough to make up our 12″ rain deficit for the year — not even half that so far — but it’s enough to keep us in good shape for the next month or two.

9 Responses to “Don’t Sweat That Drought Watch”

  • You don’t need to make up a longterm rainfall deficit to end a drought. You simply need to fill the reservoirs and saturate the ground. But using deficit keeps us afraid of something and justifies rate hikes and greater governmental interference in our lives. So they can take credit for doing something. The threat of a drought in the future is ever-present

    If we define drought as rainfall deficit from “normal,” that belief requires devastating floods before the drought can be over. Take this hypothetical.

    Your region needs 20 inches of rain spread evenly over 30 days to recharge completely groundwater and reservoirs. Suppose no rain falls for the first ten months of the year, the worst drought on record by far. Then 20 inches fall in November. The ground is saturated. Is the drought over? You’re still 20 inches below normal for the year. If you get 20 inches of rain in December, you will wish for drought.

    “The Last Drought” Sep 3, 2002

  • I don’t have a better metric by which to determine when the ground is saturated. Do you?

  • I prefer to look at streamflow conditions over time. Then again, I’m weird like that. Tasty charts and maps.

  • That’s a wonderful resource, and certainly the better metric that I’d hoped for — thanks!

  • The area, for the most part is still short of needed rainfall. I record the weather at my home, and have it on the net, it can be found at either of these two places, or . Both provide weather conditions, forecasts, etc for the area. The are a work in progress, so please be patient with them. I am about 8″ short on rain for the year.

  • Troy, thank you! I’ve always been a bit miffed that I have to rely on the airport’s reporting for weather. (What, I should go outside?) I live in Fifeville and the airport’s weather is often quite different from ours.

  • krasota,

    Thanks, I think my stuff is pretty accurate, and lots of times is different from the airport, and sometimes is the same or close. I meant to mention in my previous post that your thoughts and ideas on the stream flow are correct, and I liked the links to them, thanks. Hope we get a nice steady rain in the near future. Do you measure rainfall at your house?

  • I only measure rainfall when I’m curious or when I want to water my plants.

    I keep meaning to set out a rain gauge/can.

  • If you are ever interested in joing a national group that does this, please let me know, we’d be glad to have you

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