A Rainy Spring Means the Drought Watch Has Been Lifted
Two months of above-normal precipitation in Connecticut has convinced a coalition of state agencies to lift the drought watch that it issued last October, but officials warned that groundwater and streamflow in the state "remain vulnerable."
The drought watch was issued last autumn at a point when most of the state was suffering from nearly two years of below-average precipitation.
Nearly all Connecticut drinking water reservoirs have returned to normal capacity as a result of recent rains.
But members of the grpup noted that "streamflow and groundwater levels have demonstrated some volatility and remain vulnerable" this spring.
Last week, U.S. Drought Monitor experts noted that "groundwater levels remained unfavorably low" in areas of New England like Connecticut that suffered from the extended lack of precipitation.
The U.S. Drought Monitor, a collaboration between the federal government and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, tracks drought conditions across the country.
A large swath of eastern Connecticut and the shoreline are now considered entirely free of drought.
October 2016 was the first time the state interagency group had ever issued a drought watch.
But the two-year-drought used up much of the below-surface groundwater in Connecticut and experts say it will take many more weeks of normal rainfall to fully restore those aquifers and wells.
April was the first month since August of last year that sections of this state were classified as entirely drought-free by federal climate scientists.