It's finally over! After one of the driest summers on record in 2016, officials have announced that the drought that was ongoing in parts of New York State has ended.

The Syracuse area picked up quite a bit of snow this winter and the recent warm temperatures, melting snows and rains have put enough water back in to the ground to end a lengthy dry spell.

Last summer was one of the driest I can remember. I normally don't water the lawn more than once or twice a week. However, it seemed as though we were watering the lawn every evening. The water level in the pool was even low and residents in areas that have wells as their main source of water for their home, struggled to keep them full.

Below are two Drought Monitor Maps. The first is from this past week and the second from just a few months ago in September of 2016.

US Drought Monitor


September 2016 drought monitor

Beyond the inconveniences that a drought brings for people, it is also a serious hazard to the environment and nature. With the advanced threat of wildfires, trees and grasslands are threatened and animals are forced to find water alternative water sources.

Farmers also struggle with drought conditions even in New York as corn and other crops require plenty of water for proper growth. Few of Western and Central New York's farmers have the proper irrigation to handle the severe drought conditions we experienced last year.

The good news in the short terms is that the forecast is calling for plenty of rain as we end March and get ready for a good round of April showers.