Summer has been dryer than normal, but area is drought free

MOHAWK VALLEY — Unlike Whitehall and surrounding communities that have been affected by major flooding after severe storms earlier this week, the Mohawk Valley area has been drier than normal, officials say there currently is no drought with hopes the rain on Friday and today will help.

Although it has been drier than normal and water levels are lower than normal in some areas, the Mohawk Valley Area is not facing a drought.

“Right now we’re not in a drought,” said Fulton County Fire Coordinator Steve Santa Maria. “There was a mild drought, but that has been lifted.”

He said north and east of the Fulton County area may be in a drought, though.

The state drought map which is updated every day also shows that Montgomery County and Fulton County are not in a drought. However, the map does show that parts of Herkimer, Hamilton, Warren and Saratoga Counties are abnormally dry. Some counties with moderate drought include Essex, Clinton, Franklin, St. Lawrence, Jefferson, Lewis, Steuben, Schuyler, Tompkins and Suffolk County.

Some rain and thunderstorms were expected for Friday and today in which Santa Maria said will hopefully help.

“We’re doing okay right now, it’s drier than normal but I’m hoping the rain will help some,” he said.

Dan Thompson, meteorologist with the National Weather Services said Mohawk Valley was expected to get some rain Friday night and this afternoon and evening with a chance of a thunderstorms.

He said the area could get about an inch of rain, but could be a “hit or a miss” in some areas.

“There might be more in some areas and less in others,” Thompson said.

“We’re not looking at the potential for widespread flooding,” he added.

He also said there is no drought in the Fulton and Montgomery County area.

Although there is no drought, Thompson said it is drier than normal in the Mohawk Valley.

“Precipitation over the last 30-60 days in the Mohawk Valley has been close to normal,” Thompson said. “Streamflows in the smaller streams over the last 28 days are generally near normal, but are below normal in the Mohawk River. We have been in a dry stretch in the last 14 days, with precipitation and streamflows well below normal.”

By Paul Wager