Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Another "cold" and "dry" month

May was widely felt as another cold month according to most people I spoke to for Connecticut until the heat of the last couple of days as the first weekend of June was well-above average. We had some periods of rain and a few thunderstorms - all depending on where you are in Connecticut and very localized at times of course - but we still needed more. Whether it is someone mowing their lawn and kicking up a dust cloud or a naturalist who tells me a creek they have frequented for years is running lower than usual there seems to be a good agreement on drought conditions persisting as well.

Sometimes our personal observations actually do reflect the truth quite well, and this is the case when it comes to precipitation so far in the spring of 2013. We are definitely at a continued deficit overall with various parts of Connecticut abnormally dry to others at moderate drought conditions. Only a tiny slice of the northwest corner resembles what we could call normal as you can see in the Drought Monitor graphic.

The National Weather Service data indicates that the March-May period in the Bridgeport area was 5.40 inches below average in terms of precipitation. That is the fifth driest spring on record since 1949. I can't imagine how dry our earth would have been if not for the Blizzard of 2013 in February.

I certainly would have agreed with the general sentiment on temperature had it not been for the fact I am a weather nerd and constantly watched the daily and month-to-date temperature departures. It felt a heck of a lot cooler than normal to me for the most part. Apparently my normal is out of whack with long-term averages as I grew up in the climate change influenced past few decades. That same March-May period was 0.1 degrees Fahrenheit above normal. That is remarkably average! May itself was 0.3 degrees Fahrenheit above normal in the Bridgeport area and 0.8 degrees Fahrenheit above normal in the Hartford area.

At least the weather has been pleasant for our insects to finally emerge in strong numbers. Check out your local pond, stream, creek, lake, marsh, or other water source and you'll finally see a lot of dragonflies and damselflies. For our collective benefit - insects included - keep hoping for an excess of rain. We may actually get too much rain with a deep tropical flow later this week into the weekend...

Scott Kruitbosch
Conservation Technician

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