What to Know
- Nearly all of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut are in varying levels of drought, with NYC and parts of surrounding counties in New Jersey hitting “severe” levels; Parts of the Hudson Valley are in that category, too
- How rare is it for NYC to be under severe drought conditions? It’s the first time in 20 years that parts of Brooklyn are seeing this level of drought
- In New Jersey, a statewide drought watch was issued Tuesday by the state’s Department of Environmental Protection — the first one to be issued in six years — as the state calls for voluntary reductions in water usage
In case you haven’t noticed, and it would be really hard not to have, it’s been very hot and humid lately. Unbearably so, at times.
And while there was plenty of moisture in the atmosphere (don’t even get us started on the dew points), there has been very little in terms of consistent precipitation this summer.
Yes, there were isolated thunderstorms and rain showers on a near-daily basis for much of the last heat wave, and that even led to flash flooding for some in the tri-state. But there hasn’t been nearly enough consistent rainfall throughout the region for much of the summer.
That has left nearly all of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut in varying levels of drought. New York City and a few of the surrounding counties have been put into the “severe” drought level, the worst in the tri-state. Parts of the Hudson Valley are in that category as well.
Much of Long Island and central New Jersey are under “moderate” drought, while the rest of the region is under “dry” conditions. Which, while better, are still not ideal.
Check the latest weather alerts for your neighborhood here.
How rare is it for NYC to be under severe drought conditions? Well it’s the first time in 20 years that parts of Brooklyn are seeing this level of drought. Central Park averages 10.7 inches of rain from June 1 to August. 11, but this year has only seen just over 8 inches, leading to the drought. Compare that to 2021, the park had received nearly 15 inches of rain at this point of the summer.
In New Jersey, a statewide drought watch was issued on Tuesday by the state’s Department of Environmental Protection – the first one to be issued in six years. For now, that means the state is calling for voluntary reductions in water usage, as Gov. Phil Murphy urged businesses and homes to conserve water.
Ongoing hot and dry conditions in New Jersey have prompted a drought watch throughout the state, Brian Thompson reports.
That largely means reducing the number of times lawns get watered and landscaped, and changing what times are best to do any kind of watering. The state provided a list of tips on how to conserve water.
The DEP said that abiding by the voluntary restrictions can help the state avoid having to take more restrictive measures. A drought emergency, which involves the state ordering mandatory restrictions on certain uses of water, has not been declared in the state since March 2002.
Individual decisions like reducing your water use on your lawn or not using animal products can make a long-term difference and prevent droughts, says behavioral scientist Sweta Chakraborty.
Even though it may have rained a little bit Thursday morning down the Jersey Shore, that amount of water isn’t going to do much to help plants get the moisture they need to survive. The upcoming weekend weather may be glorious, with highs in the low 80s, lots of sun and no humidity, it won’t do anything to help the drought conditions plaguing the region.
There is some moisture coming to the tri-state by the middle of next week, however. A system will move in Tuesday and bring showers through Wednesday. That front brings deep tropical moisture coming in from the Atlantic, and could lead to thunderstorms and heavy downpours at times. Anywhere from 1-3 inches could fall.
Track any approaching weather using our interactive radar below.