Talkin' Drought on a Sunny Sunday

By: Myles Henderson
By: Myles Henderson
After a Mother's Day full of sunshine, I started thinking about the rain soaked past 7 days. I'm glad to see the sunshine make a return but it's also important to appreciate the rain.

Coming into the month of May we had 9.10" of rain at the McCormick Observatory in Charlottesville since the start of 2009. That put us about 5" below normal. Since May 1st we have seen 3.37" of rainfall. That's almost 70% of the normal rainfall for the entire month and it's only the 10th. So what does all of this mean when it comes to drought talk?

Well, the word "drought" can really be defined four different ways. The "drought" that you will usually here us talking about is technically the meteorological drought. It is the departure of precipitation from normal or our "rainfall deficit." A "drought" can also be defined as agricultural (lack of moisture that impacts crops), hydrological (surface and subsurface water supplies deficit), and socioeconomic (when physical water shortages affects people).

Our overall "drought situation" is best displayed by the U.S. Drought Monitor, issued by NOAA every Thursday. Most Thursdays you can see the latest Drought Monitor on CBS19.

-Myles
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