University of Vermont

Vermont State Climate Office ARSCO

The 1998-1999 Drought In Vermont

SUMMARY OF THE 1998-1999 DROUGHT IN VERMONT

1 February, 2000

The drought which surfaced as precipitation deficits in the fall for 1998 intensified over the course of the summer of 1999. A summer recap has been provided by the National Weather Service at the Burlington International Airport.

SEPTEMBER RAINS...

After a summer of record-breaking temperatures and marked precipitation deficits, the rainfall received in September contributed significantly towards recharging the various components of our landscape, including surface moisture, streamflow and groundwater supplies. As the growing season drew near to a close, much of this moisture recharge was not be of benefit to this year’s harvest, but should help to stabilize conditions for next year.

Most of the September's precipitation was associated with remnants of Hurricane Dennis (September 6-7), Tropical Storm Floyd (September 16-17) and several cold fronts that moved across the state during the fourth week. Tropical Storm Floyd was by far the largest contributor, producing rainfall totals of 3-6 inches (76.2-152.4 mm) in a 48-hour time frame. The official totals from the National Weather Service are as follows:

...TROPICAL SYSTEM FLOYD DEPOSITS HEAVY RAIN ACROSS THE NORTH COUNTRY...

THE FOLLOWING IS AN...UPDATED LISTING...OF STORM TOTAL REPORTS IN INCHES FROM A VARIETY OF WEATHER SPOTTERS... COOPERATIVE OBSERVERS...AND AUTOMATED RAIN DETECTION EQUIPMENT.

CHAMPLAIN VALLEY
Berkshire 3.50
Bolton 6.34
Burlington 4.42
Chazy 3.71
Colchester 4.31
Ellensburg Depot 3.85
Jericho 4.38
Middlebury 5.07
New Haven Junction 4.34
Orwell 4.20
Plattsburgh 4.41
Salisbury 5.09
Schuyler Falls 3.85
Silver Lake 5.06
South Hero 3.59
South Lincoln 6.42
Underhill 6.38
Westford 4.45
CENTRAL VERMONT
Barre 4.95
Berlin 4.98
Chelsea 6.11
Eden 4.86
Irasville 4.95
Marshfield 5.68
Montpelier 4.64
Mount Mansfield 11.38
Waitsfield 7.05
NORTHEASTERN VERMONT
Brownington 6.56
East Albany 5.63
Greensboro 4.76
Jay Peak 5.77
Jeffersonville 6.35
Newark 7.21
Saint Johnsbury 5.49
Sutton 5.28
West Danville 5.20

SOUTHERN VERMONT
Bethel 5.77
East Wallingford 6.13
Rochester 5.96
Woodstock 6.05

Overall, the state received 215.4 mm (8.4 inches) during September 1999, which represents 246% of normal. While the tropical storm remnants and subsequent frontal activity of October 1999 substantially reversed the dry conditions, the cumulative effects of the 15-month precipitation shortage should continue to be monitored in light of the fact that in both November and December 1999, below normal precipitation amounts (73% and 43% statewide respectively) were again received.

For more information on the recent drought and methods by which to track drought conditions, see the:

Last modified May 18 2010 06:16 PM

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