A sneaky drought returns to Washington

John Ernst/Flickr) The Washington region was mired in drought last spring.
Then plentiful rains came in May, and the drought ended.
But, because of an abnormally dry fall, the drought is back.
The latest U.S. Drought Monitor shows moderate drought conditions covering eastern Fairfax County, the District and most of the Maryland counties surrounding the District.
(U.S. Drought Monitor) The region had a much-drier-than-normal fall, and the dearth of precipitation has carried into the start of winter.
September, October and November had below-normal rainfall, producing a water deficit of nearly five inches in Washington.
December has tacked on two more inches to the deficit, with just 0.29 inches of rain (and melted snow) so far.
That’s largely due to the much-above-normal rainfall during two months — May and July — when 5.55 and 9.15 inches accumulated.
Aside from that, every other month has been drier than normal.
“The biggest impacts of drought are from late spring to the end of growing season,” said Chris Strong, warning coordination meteorologist at the National Weather Service.

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