Drought monitor puts Orleans as ‘abnormally dry’

Photo by Tom Rivers: Matt Panek of Panek Farms plows a field on Gaines Basin Road in Albion last week. The dry conditions have allowed farmers to get out in their fields earlier this year.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 March 2021 at 8:56 am

Below normal precipitation the first half of March has much of upstate New York, including Orleans County, “abnormally dry.”

The U.S. Drought Monitor has a large swath of the northeast as abnormally dry. At that condition, crop growth is stunted, fire danger is elevated, lawns brown early and surface waters decline. (New York has an outdoor burn ban in effect through May 16.)

The Drought monitor is produced through a partnership between the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

This map from the U.S. Drought Monitor shows areas in yellow that are “abnormally dry” and the light brown/tan areas as in “moderate drought.”