Meanwhile, in drought-stricken Maine, it’s hoped that 2016 damage can be avoided
The drought-like conditions in the state have affected everything from backyard lawns and plants to some crops, but according to nursery and garden center officials in southern Maine, many homeowners may not even be aware of how dry it’s been.
Not as many customers are asking about drought conditions, so we’re really trying to remind people.” The U.S. Drought Monitor map, which is updated weekly, showed eastern Maine entering drought conditions starting in late July.
Abnormally dry to moderate conditions have continued along the eastern half of the state.
Nicki Becker, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray, said that while the state got plenty of rain earlier in the year, precipitation dried up in June, creating drought conditions by late July that have persisted since.
Year-to-date precipitation in Portland is above average, with 30.7 inches as of Aug. 27, compared to the average 29.74 inches that falls from Jan. 1 to Aug. 31.
We’re trying to encourage people to use a seed that goes down deep into the soil and if we get some rain in the next three or four weeks, that will really help things next year.” Estabrook said the moderate temperatures this summer are good for seeding as well.
“I think people probably want to avoid a repeat of that.” Becker, with the weather service, said the dry summer is a short-term phenomenon so far compared to last year’s drought, which persisted for nearly 10 months despite heavy rain last October.
Dry conditions have affected Maine’s bee population, which in turn has affected crop pollination.
Before last year, Maine hadn’t seen drought conditions in 14 years, although that lasted years, not months.
“When it rains people complain,” Becker said.