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  1. #1

    Default Drought in the Northeast

    For those heading into New England drought is starting to impact water sources in the Northeastern States:

    Northwestern CT, Western MA, Southern half of VT, Southern half of NH, and Central to coastal ME are experiencing moderate drought (D1) conditions. Areas of NY and New England states bordering on these D1 areas are experiencing Abnormally Dry (D0) conditions.

    Weather forecasts through July 10th for these areas show only a chance of scattered thunderstorms and temperatures in the 80 - 95 degree range. Drought conditions are not expected to improve.

    I have noted small stream crossings have dried out in Northwestern CT and some normally reliable small volume water sources are starting to stagnate. Larger ponds and lakes remain the best choice for reliable water availability. Due to these conditions hikers may want to carry more water than usual to avoid running out.

  2. #2
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    Probably need to throttle back on the hand washing...

  3. #3

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    I hope the stream I draw water from for my cottage doesn't dry up. That will be a real pain. It's looking pretty marginal for this early in the season.
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    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    As of June 25th according to the us drought monitor, there's a lot of yellow and brown D0, D1 from md to me. For us here we are not expecting much perception for the next week. So yeah those heading out check your water sources well ! It looks like we might be going into a dry summer. Wanted to add that the corn in these areas are starting to roll already meaning the leaves are curling in order to protect itself because it thinks its dehydrated which it is, but really early in the season for this .
    Last edited by JNI64; 07-01-2020 at 01:39.

  5. #5

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    At least in my area and across much of NH and ME we've gotten some significant rain the last few days and it will continue on and off into next week. Poor Gambit, he decided to hike up here this week.
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  6. #6

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    Realistically Gambits plan is ideal for weather like this since he has some flexibility. There are several sections of hike where there are not great views, RT17 to South Arm, South Arm to East B hill, the western end of the Mahoosucs, the Carters and Moriah, Crawford to Zealand are all predominantly green tunnel. He is slacking down from the Mt Washington summit as day hikes and once this stalled front move tomorrow its back to chance of afternoon thundershowers, my bet it if he gets the early morning shuttle up Washington he is below treeline before things get questionable weather wise above treeline.

    On the other hand weather models call for a possibly record breaking July heat wave in the east. This has been happening frequently in recent years and trending to getting worse. This time of year a one week stretch of clear weather inevitably means high temps so hiker have to be careful for what they wish for.

  7. #7
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    It sure is getting worse every year with record breaking heat waves. Just ask the folks in Siberia , they just had a record breaking 100' day well above the artic circle. Friday we're expecting 95-100' then around 90' for the next week with little rain forecast. One good thing I don't have to mow my grass this week yay!
    Last edited by JNI64; 07-01-2020 at 10:13.

  8. #8

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    Rain here too, pretty much every afternoon and/or evening since late last week. Before that, hardly any for five weeks, and the garden was on life support. I'm less than an hour from Kent, but I'm not sure if the rain fell there as well.

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    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    Tropical storm fay hopefully will bring some relief

  10. #10

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    Looks like it will run up the Green Mountains NH and Maine will be to the east.

  11. #11

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    Tropical storms typically deliver a lot of rain in a short period of time so most of the rain will run off and help recharge ponds and some tributaries. What is needed are several days of gentle rain to penetrate hardened ground and allow water to reach deep into the soil. We used to get those soaking rains more or less routinely but over the past few decades they have given way to heat waves.

    Be careful of taking water and filter or treat during and immediately following rain run off events as the run off water carries fecal material along with other fun things from the forest floor into bodies of water.

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    Registered User LIhikers's Avatar
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    I was hiking in NY's Harriman State Park yesterday and all the streams we passed had water and were running nicely

  13. #13
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    Yep getting dry as a popcorn fart. Nort Maine is in D2 orange which means severe drought, the rest of Maine is in D1 moderate drought .( D3 is severe). The whole northeast is in yellow D1 moderate drought. Alot of yellow turning brown quickly to moderate drought. This all according to the us drought monitor chart.

  14. #14

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    Quick update on drought conditions in New England:

    Currently there has been little change in conditions despite localized rain squalls this past month. States having D1 drought conditions (moderate drought) are:

    Northwestern CT
    Western MA
    Midstate/Southern VT
    Midstate/Southern NH
    Central ME (extreme northern ME has D2 severe drought conditions)

    Despite localized rain events, drought conditions are not expected to improve over the next 30-days and will likely worsen. Do not expect small volume water sources at or near the top of ridges or higher elevations to have dependable water. Ponds and lakes have water but stagnation, coupled with sudden, heavy rain that flush animal waste bacteria into these bodies of water may be an issue.

  15. #15

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    Droughts are common in the Southeast mountains where I backpack. The worst was in 2016 which resulted in the massive wildfires closing down Cohutta wilderness and Kilmer/Slickrock wilderness---and torching Gatlinburg resulting in 14 deaths.

    I was out during the worst of it and could not find water at my usual sources---and discovered a pump style filter which sucks up water from a tiny pool is the only way to gather enough water for camp.

    I was hiking over Bob Stratton Bald and got to my usual source and found it bone dry so I hiked a hundred yards down the hill and followed the dry creek bed to where it finally showed a wet seep---and dug out a hole and waited for it to settle and got my 3 liters though it took 20 minutes.

    P1000041-XL.jpg
    You can find water if you're willing to bushwack way below the springhead.

    TRIP 181 (399)-XL.jpg

    TRIP 181 (436)-XL.jpg
    A year later in 2017 I went into Kilmer/Slickrock and checked out the fire damage on the Naked Ground Trail and it was significant. In the Southeast mountains---terrible droughts automatically lead to terrible wildfires.

    Trip 203 (433)-XL.jpg
    Here is South Fork Creek in Citico wilderness from a recent trip in 2020.

    Trip 200 (20)-XL-XL.jpg
    Here is the same spot after a drought in 2019.

  16. #16

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    Any updates in water in PA down to Harpers Ferry? Txs!

  17. #17
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    Finally what we're in dire need of a good 48 + hrs of soak-in rain. Speaking for my area of course thanks lsaias... reckon I'll have to mow the grass this weekend, it's turning green and growing again.(as well as replenish them mt streams /water sources).
    Last edited by JNI64; 08-04-2020 at 10:08.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JNI64 View Post
    Finally what we're in dire need of a good 48 + hrs of soak-in rain. Speaking for my area of course thanks lsaias... reckon I'll have to mow the grass this weekend, it's turning green and growing again.(as well as replenish them mt streams /water sources).
    Seems like much of the corridor northwards from there through NY/CT/MA and VT may get some of this as well, which could help out their issues as well (depends on how much of it goes beyond the NY/CTMAVT line rather than just up through NY into the Adirondacks).

  19. #19

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    It looks like the eye of the storm is traveling up the Hudson River Valley between NY and VT. Western MA is getting drenched too. I wouldn't want to be on the Long Trail today and tonight. Or the next couple of days until most of the water runs off.

    So far only some light rain in the Whites, but that can change overnight. Some heaver bands could sweep through here as it moves north.
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  20. #20

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    Indeed Vermont and the Long Trail got drenched. However it was not a big wind event here in southern VT so blowdowns should be minimal.
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