Snowy, rainy weather not enough to ease drought fears
The surface water supply around the state is in good shape, but it’s the groundwater that worries people like Tom Hawley, a meteorologist and hydrologist at the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine.
Most of the southern half of the state is now considered to be in a moderate drought, according to the latest report released on April 4 by the U.S. Drought Monitor.
While an active weather pattern brought heavy snow and rain to the region in recent weeks to put a dent in the drought, Hawley said things are about to change.
"I think, over the next couple of weeks, we’re looking at below-normal precipitation.
"I don’t like to see below-normal precipitation here in April.
Raymond town officials issued a notice a couple of weeks ago, telling residents that the drought isn’t over and that it would take three to six months of abnormally high rainfall to make up the 10- to 15-inch precipitation deficit and recharge aquifers.
"In the span of three weeks, southern New Hampshire has moved from a severe drought to a moderate drought.
Those communities with surface water supplies are in a much better position to rescind their water bans," he said.
An outdoor water ban adopted last fall also remains in effect in Newport, one of the towns in Sullivan County where severe drought conditions persist.
Exeter adopted mandatory outdoor water restrictions and offered free water conservation kits to residents.