Does NJ’s Dry Spell Mean Upcoming Drought? [AUDIO]
New Jersey has seen a dry spell lately, which may prompt some of us to wonder about how far we are from a drought.
Dave Robinson, the State Climatologist at Rutgers, says it's too early to say for sure whether New Jersey is headed for a drought this year. He says precipitation has been a mixed bag across the Garden State.
"The coastal counties have averaged about normal to a little above normal precipitation. But when you get into central and especially the northwestern part of the state, we've had about two-thirds or normal precipitation."
He does warn that this is a critical time of year, with no leaves on trees to shade the forest and a lot of dry debris on forest floors that heighten the risk for forest and brush fires around the state.
So how does this early spring compare to last April, as far a dry weather goes?
"This time last year, we were more concerned about the dry conditions than we are right now, and we were rescued by a late-season Nor'easter last April 20th and 21st. That moistened things up, reduced the fires throughout and really set the scene for what was about an average summer in the precipitation department."