The first week of May looks unsettled, and that’s a good thing. The month of April had it’s fair share of ups and downs. Temperatures some days were only in the 30s, while others were in the low 80s. We saw an accumulating snowfall in the beginning of the month. However, what we lacked was…rain!If you take a look at the US drought Monitor for Pennsylvania you can see our entire region is considered “abnormally dry” right now. While it isn’t yet a drought, some places have been experiencing these dry conditions since the start of the year.
The Poconos in particular has experienced bone dry conditions this year. Mount Pocono’s rainfall departure since March 1, is 4.3” below normal. We saw the negative impacts the lack of rain can have right in the heart of wildfire/brush fire season.
Photo courtesy: Pennsylvania Forests Facebook Page
Here’s a picture of the “16-Mile Fire” that has been burning in Monroe and Pike counties since April 20. It’s now 90 percent contained. Days leading up to this fire there were fire weather watches, and even a red flag warning. The weather conditions that week coupled with the dry fuels and lack of rain were perfect conditions to get this fire going. Even the lack of snow this winter played a roll in the dry conditions in this part of the state.
With the exception of Western PA, there really is no escaping the dry conditions.
You can see just how dry it is on the 60 day map by the Mid Atlantic River Forecast Center. Carbon, Monroe, Pike, Union and Lycoming counties are 51-75% below the rainfall departure average.
The good news is…we have rain in the forecast this week! It’s looking pretty unsettled for the first week of May. While that might not be the news you want, it’s safe to say we all need it.