Drought & Severe Weather Updates


July 9, 1999

Rainfall brings welcome relief to Vermont ...

As of July 9, 1999 a number of convective and frontal weather systems over the last two weeks have brought welcome precipitation accumulations around Vermont. Although these storms were often accompanied or preceded by high temperatures (in some cases, record-breaking ones) as the month of June drew to a close, the second week of July has been marked by a cooler conditions.

As a result of these fairly steady precipitation inputs, surface soil moisture conditions have begun to be replenished, so that the effects of the drought on vegetation (lawns, crops and others) are not as severe as they were a month ago.

However, even though the impacts of agricultural drought appear to be decreasing, lake levels, river stages and groundwater supplies have yet to be fully recharged. As such, the hydrologic component of the drought still exists. Since there is a natural delay (lag) between the time at which precipitation deficits are observed compared to the decline in surface and ground waters, it is to be expected so time will elapse before the entire landscape (from soil moisture to the hydrological sectors) truly recovers from the winter-summer drought of 1998/1999.

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


The Fourth of July weekend and subsequent days will be remembered for the excessive heat conditions that gave way to a rash of daily severe thunderstorms. As warm, humid air approached New England and southeast Canada in the early morning of July 5, 1999 the first severe storm would be an electrical thunderstorm in the mountainous Laurentians region of Quebec and parts of the island of Montreal to the south. Over 400, 000 people lost electrical power, a situation that would persist for several days. At the same time in Vermont, severe thunderstorms would leave wind-related tree damage in parts of Orleans (Newport and North Troy), Franklin, Caledonia Grand Isle (Alburg Springs), and Essex counties (National Weather Service, 1999).

By July 6, a cold front had moved across the region again helping to spawn severe thunderstorms that would uproot and or down trees in Franklin, Lamoille (Hyde Park, Waterville), Washington (Cabot, Calais), Windsor (Windsor, Bridgewater, Woodstock, Chester, Wilder, White River Junction, Hartland, Ludlow), Essex (Lunenburg), Orleans (Derby Line) and Rutland (Sudbury, East Wallingford, Rutland) counties. Wind gusts of 59 miles per hour () were reported to the National Weather Service by a spotter in West Danville or Caledonia county (National Weather Service, 1999). Power outages in the wake of this series of storms would leave customers without electricity across Rutland county and the St. Johnsbury area (The Burlington Free Press, 1999). Later that evening a tornado would touch down in the Quebec cities of Drummondville, Berthierville and Yamaska.