First Alert Weather In-Depth: How much water this winter?

Weather In-Depth: How are we doing with precipitation?

Weather In-Depth: How are we doing with precipitation?

The big storyline this winter for much of our region, and the surrounding upstate New York regions, has been the lack of snow. Snow has been in a deficit, but does that mean our water table is suffering?

What may shock some, because of the lack of wintry weather, is that our water table is actually doing just fine! Although the cold air hasn’t been there this winter to make snow, we have seen plenty of liquid precipitation. Since Dec. 1, we have seen 7.65 inches of liquid (rain & snow). That stands about three-quarters of an inch above normal. As far as our snow numbers, they are lacking with 41.6 inches of snow stacking up so far this winter, which is just shy of 3 feet below normal. Even with that, we have seen improvements across our region since the beginning of winter.

Fall was pretty much a dry season for us as we only saw 5.69 inches of rainfall. That is just about 3.5 inches below normal, and with that a severe and even moderate drought developed across our region. This was hardest felt south of Rochester and primarily for Livingston, Genesee, and Wyoming counties. At the start of winter about 26% of those counties were under a Severe Drought, and over 90% of those counties were under at least a Moderate Drought. Parts of the rest of our region were also under a designation of Moderate Drought and others under Abnormally Dry. As stated above though, winter has been doing just fine with wet weather, which means we have seen improvements since then. As of right now, there is no Severe Drought designation across our region, and just a small area of Moderate Drought left.

Because getting out of drought conditions takes time, abnormally dry conditions still remain for a good chunk of our region. We do expect things to slowly improve heading into spring as well, but this will continued to be monitored heading into the wetter seasons.