October Summary Drought Worsens

October Summary;
Drought Worsens
Tuesday November 1st

October 2016 is now in the history books!
The month set several Ulster County records based on observations from Mohonk Lake where archives span 120 years.

The big story heading into November is the ongoing drought.
Two weeks ago the City of Kingston issued a Drought Alert [Link] as Cooper Lake, the city's main water supply, fell to 75% capacity. The Alert called for voluntary water restrictions. Since then, the Lake has continued to fall and is now at 70% capacity [Link]. City officials have noted that residents have largely ignored the voluntary water restrictions, with water usage increasing since the Drought Alert was declared. At the current rate, a more stringent "drought warning" could be declared by the end of November.

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Caption: Cooper Lake is currently at 70% capacity. Larger image.

The worsening conditions come despite an increase in rainfall since September. October recorded 3.81 inches of precipitation, which was roughly 80% of normal. For the year, Ulster County's precipitation is nearly 12 inches below normal; only 14 years have had a larger deficit by November 1st. One inch of snow was observed at Mohonk on the 27th, which was the first time that measurable snow has been recorded on the date. Only eight years have recorded more snow than 2016 by the end of October.

Temperatures during October didn't contribute significantly to the drought. The overall average temperature for October was 53.1°F, which was only about one degree above normal. The maximum temperature of the month was 79°, which was set on the 18th and the 19th. Both dates set new records. For the 19th, 79° was the highest temperature ever recorded, surpassing the previous record set in 1963. For the 18th, 79° surpassed the previous record which was set in 1908! The monthly minimum temperature was 28°, set on the 28th.

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Caption: October rainfall was closer to normal than September, however, Cooper Lake water levels have continued to fall due to increased city demand. Larger image.

Please consider ways to
reduce your personal water use.

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