Wednesday, July 13, 2016
Drought Article by MLive
DROUGHT ARTICLE BY MLIVE: The U.S. Drought Monitor released July 7, 2016 has most of Lower Michigan abnormally dry and the light brown areas now designated as moderate drought. The latest U.S. Drought Monitor has just placed part of Lower Michigan in moderate drought conditions. The data released today, July 7, shows abnormally dry areas in bright yellow and moderate drought areas in tan. Moderate drought is one step drier than abnormally dry. Moderate drought now stretches from the Bay, Midland, Saginaw and Thumb areas south to the Lansing area. The Detroit area is also now ranked as being in moderate drought. There is also an area around Muskegon, Ludington and Manistee in moderate drought conditions. Most of the rest of Lower Michigan is now characterized as abnormally dry. The moderate drought is called a short-term drought right now, since it has been going for less than six months. This means it is a drought to agriculture, but not yet a drought with regards to water table lowering and water usage. Dry areas really expanded in past week The U.S. Drought Monitor ranks areas as abnormally dry, moderate drought, severe drought, extreme drought and exceptional drought. Here are the latest percent of Michigan areas in each category, and the change from several previous time periods. Last week no area of Michigan was ranked in moderate drought. This week 16 percent of Michigan is in moderate drought. The abnormally dry area really expanded, going from 31 percent last week to 68 percent now. Fortunately there should be some help to the dryness over the next three days. Fairly widespread showers and thunderstorms are expected late Thursday through early afternoon Saturday. Moisture in the air is substantial, so storms could drop a lot of rain fast. We certainly could use at least an inch over all of Michigan. I don't think every location will get an inch of rain in the next three days, but some areas will get more than one inch.