Rain postponed this 12 months’s first assembly of the state job pressure that displays drought situations in Maine. That was in Might, and to date the group has not wanted to fulfill because of one of many wettest summers on document.
However that doesn’t imply it gained’t.
The Maine Drought Process Drive solely meets when issues are actually dry within the state. That has definitely not been the case to date this 12 months, which had one of many rainiest Junes up to now quarter-century.
Nonetheless, the potential of drought, whereas slim, just isn’t unimaginable this season.
“We virtually met in mid-Might when abnormally dry situations gave the impression to be increasing,” mentioned Samual Roy, pure hazards planner with Maine Emergency Administration Company and job pressure member. “Nevertheless, this was adopted by per week of some rainfall [and] ever since, situations simply continued to get wetter.”
The duty pressure is made up of officers from state and federal businesses representing agriculture, emergency administration, the climate service, public utilities and well being suppliers. Whereas there have been no official conferences, Roy did say members have been holding ongoing discussions to remain on prime of situations.
“I test the Northeast drought early warning system about as soon as per week throughout non-drought durations to get a way of tendencies,” Roy mentioned. “Maine is an enormous state, and we frequently see totally different tendencies in several areas — that’s not actually true in the meanwhile. At present the state is fairly evenly moist.”
Final 12 months presently, two-thirds of the state was in a drought. Solely Aroostook County was not abnormally dry. A 12 months earlier than that, in 2021, jap Maine escaped the worst of any drought whereas the remainder of the state was seeing average or excessive drought situations.
Components or all of Maine has been beneath some type of drought or abnormally dry situations since 2014, in line with the US Drought Monitor’s historic maps.
When monitoring situations, Roy and his fellow job pressure members contemplate a number of variables that may level to a drought.
“The first ones which might be helpful for figuring out the beginning of drought are principally precipitation tendencies over prolonged time and areas and stream flows and groundwater ranges,” he mentioned. “We additionally take a look at long run seasonal forecasts.”
Primarily based on what they’re seeing proper now, Roy mentioned they don’t seem to be forecasting any drought wherever in Maine this summer season.
“Present stream flows and groundwater ranges are above regular for many elements of Maine,” he mentioned. “And presently the [weather] outlooks point out no change in barely above regular moist and heat situations three to 4 weeks from now.”
On the similar time, Roy mentioned you’ll be able to by no means say by no means relating to issues like droughts.
It simply takes a sudden interval of decrease than regular precipitation mixed with excessive temperatures and excessive winds to create what’s known as a flash drought — the speedy look of drought situations.
All the duty pressure can do is go by the most effective scientific info accessible and on the similar time stay vigilant to abrupt modifications.
“Bear in mind, these outlooks are very normal and are unable to forecast very speedy modifications resembling flash droughts,” he mentioned. “So actually something might occur.”