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DROUGHT IN NORTHEAST WEARS ON: RECENT RAINS HAVE SHORT-TERM IMPACT ON LONG-TERM DROUGHT IN NORTHEAST
Released: 10/13/1995

Contact Information:
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Office of Communication
119 National Center
Reston, VA 20192
Rebecca Phipps 1-click interview
Phone: 703-648-4460



Rains that fell in parts of the Northeastern U.S. during the past weekend are having a short-term impact on the long-term drought conditions in the Northeastern U.S., according to hydrologists at the U.S. Geological Survey.

"Streamflows in the Northeast rose only slightly in response to the rains of the past weekend, and remain at well below normal levels," said Terrance Lamb, USGS hydrologist and surface-water specialist for the Northeastern U.S. "It must be remembered that streamflows did not reach these below normal levels overnight; more replenishing rains are needed to reverse the trend.

"The numbers indicate that hydrologic drought conditions endure," Lamb said.

A hydrologic drought occurs when the natural water system that we depend on -- the rivers, streams, and ground-water levels in wells -- are adversely affected by a lack of long-term moisture. The impact can be severe, and can take many months, or even years, of normal precipitation to reverse.

The USGS measured the following streamflows in the Northeast, Thurs., Oct. 12, 1995:

o At Auburn, Maine, flow of the Androscoggin River is 1.7 bgd, 20 percent below the October average flow of 2.2 bgd.

o At Green Island, N.Y., flow of the Hudson River is 2.7 bgd, nearly 50 percent below the October average flow of about 4.0 bgd. o At Washington, D.C ., flow of the Potomac River is about 1.7 bgd, about 10 percent less than the October average flow of 2.0 bgd.


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