Drought conditions loom across region

Stream flow in the Potomac River and its tributaries, the region\'s main water source, is at a good level. (WTOP/File/Michelle Basch)

Hank Silverberg, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – Many lawns across the region are brown, signaling a rain deficit that could mean drought conditions later this summer.

Rainfall so far this summer is about 6 1/4- to 7 inches below normal in the Washington region. ABC-7 Meteorologist Mike Stinneford says the recent string of 100-degree days dried up groundwater in some areas.

But, he says a wet July has prevented a drought. According to the U .S. Drought Monitor, released on July 5, the Potomac River Basin is either abnormally or moderately dry.

“Even though it has been hot, storms have come through and that’s helping to keep the drought from getting any worse than it could be.”

Much of the East Coast has experienced drought conditions, and in the Midwest, the dry weather devastated corn crops, raising the spector of higher food prices later in the year.

Stinneford says right now stream flow in the Potomac River and its tributaries, the region’s main water source, is at a good level.

“A lot of times, this time of year, to get out of drought conditions you really need a tropical system to come in and drop in several inches of rain,” says Stinneford.

He says the drought would be much worse if it were not for a series of heavy thunderstorms that came through the region in the last few weeks.

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