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Thread: Northeast Drought

  1. #1
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    Default Northeast Drought

    Here in NH, 70% of the state is in "extreme drought" conditions. Besides the occasional thunderstorm, there has been NO rain here all summer, and very little in the spring. It's getting concerning, to say the least, as there's no appreciable rain on the horizon, and once the ground freezes, welp, any rain (or melted snow) we get is just going to run off into the rivers.

    Wells are failing left and right. Drilling companies are three months to six months out at this point. Scary.

    We don't associate significant drought with the northeast, but here we are. I lie awake at night wondering what it would look like if it simply doesn't rain anymore. The rational part of me knows that it will, but man, it's been a very long time since I've seen a rainy day.

    Everything around here is dessicated. Or dead. And at this point I'm taking military showers every few days (yeah, you don't want to be near me right now) and just waiting for my well to fail.

    2020 continues to be the shittiest year ever.

    New Englanders and upstate NY people - how are you faring?

    Edit: Yeah, let me add that a bad well isn't anywhere near having your freakin' house burn to the ground due to wildfires. Understood.

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    Default Re: Northeast Drought

    But the dirt in the deep woods is like hero snow

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    Default Re: Northeast Drought

    We've been fortunate here in the Berkshire hilltowns to have had sufficient rainfall to keep the hills green and farms that don't irrigate yielding well enough. Pastures are dry and hay yields are not the best, but it could be worse. We have four wells and none have gone dry yet. The early cold is a bit of a shock, and who knows what winter will bring?
    Jay Dwight

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    Default Re: Northeast Drought

    We had a shortage in the middle of the heat and drought around July? when the gardeners were watering heavily to protect new plants from getting blasted. Our refill rate dropped while their output was maxed out, so the pump panicked and shut off and the well company came out to clean things up and restart. We did some calculations and worked out a new watering schedule that was much further spaced out and in smaller amounts - and all the plants survived. So the gardeners learned something and have incorporated it into projects elsewhere. So now we are no longer watering anything and it is just my wife and I so plenty of water down there.

    When the drought was tough, our game camera was capturing a veritable zoo of animals coming down to our creek to drink. That was very cool, but also brought home how much impact reduced water resources has on everything.
    Jorn Ake
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    Default Re: Northeast Drought

    this is interesting, and a surprise to me, though i havent really been paying attention. here in the NYC metro burbs of NJ, my little backyard garden is booming with veggies and i havent physically watered it in days, it seems to be at the self supporting stage. i feel like we didnt have much prolonged rain this year, but many really really heavy thunderstorms that dumped a ton of water at one time.


    although i realize it's a totally insignificant question relative to the big picture, but what effect will this have on the fall foliage colors this season, i understand that these things are variable based on seasonal moisture.

    let's hope for the best, the last thing we need is water shortage this damned year.

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    Default Re: Northeast Drought

    ^^^

    Informal observation. But around here there's a lot of color WAY sooner than expected.
    I hear the color season this year is supposed to be very good, although relatively brief. But that may reflect more folk wisdom than anything.

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    Default Re: Northeast Drought


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    Default Re: Northeast Drought

    Quote Originally Posted by Mabouya View Post
    Thanks for these. Resources I didn't know about.... and wish I didn't see.

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    Default Re: Northeast Drought

    Very dry here in the Upper Valley of VT and NH. Last rainfall of note here was on September 2nd. Think NWS is showing 0.25" of rain for September in VT.

    Lived here 20 years and our well has never dried up, but without a 'fuel gauge' type of thing, you just don't know what you've got. And the deeper the wells, the longer it will take to start recharging. We're taking shorter showers, doing no outside watering, and I'm peeing outside instead of using the loo, whenever possible (neighbors are blocked by lots of trees). Hopefully this fall will see a change in the weather. Foliage season looks to be a bust, too, with just shrivelling-up leaves turning brown and falling off.

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    Default Re: Northeast Drought

    Quote Originally Posted by thomas View Post
    but without a 'fuel gauge' type of thing, you just don't know what you've got.
    The best idea I found for doing this (other than dropping a line down the well with a small weight and a bobber, stopping when the bobber hits the water, and measuring the length of the line, which is a bit of a hassle to do) is:

    1) Get a long hose (longer than the depth of your well) say, about 3/8" in diameter
    2) Pull the well pipe (I know, a huge deal, but you only have to do it once)
    3) Attach the end of the hose close to the water inlet
    4) Drop the pipe back, and every X feet tape the hose to the pipe (the same way they tape the pump power line, if you have a submersible pump)
    5) Once everything is back in place take an air pump + pressure gauge and pump air into the upper end of the hose
    6) Read the level at which the pressure stops climbing.
    7) Use that and the fact that 1 psi = 27.71" of H2O to calculate the height of the water displaced by your pressurized air. That tells you how much water you have above the inlet.

    I never bothered to try this, but it seems like a cool way to check a well.

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    Default Re: Northeast Drought

    Bricor mahes a kick-ass showerhead. http://bricor.com/

    The Elite-e models we have feel better than the 2.4-gpm models they replaced.

    Another cool gizmo is the Evolve Showerstart, it lets you know when the water’s warm by shutting down to a trickle to keep that warm water from running down the drain. https://www.conservationmart.com/p-3...tart-tsv3.aspx
    Trod Harland, Physical Educator

    Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. — James Baldwin

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    Default Re: Northeast Drought

    Quote Originally Posted by Mabouya View Post
    The best idea I found for doing this (other than dropping a line down the well with a small weight and a bobber, stopping when the bobber hits the water, and measuring the length of the line, which is a bit of a hassle to do) is:

    1) Get a long hose (longer than the depth of your well) say, about 3/8" in diameter...
    For my well, that would be a very, very, very long hose...

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    Default Re: Northeast Drought

    Welcome to Climate Change.

    The question is how to convince your farmer neighbors with trump signs that stopping this from getting worse is more important than bashing Libs...
    Last edited by guido; 09-22-2020 at 09:40 AM.
    Guy Washburn

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    Default Re: Northeast Drought

    My perception of the climate in upstate NY over the course of my life (thus far...):

    - Child of the '60s and '70s: why does it rain or snow all the time? No one has air conditioning, even in their new cars.

    - Young adult of the '80s and '90s: gee, it's getting warmer and dryer, but it still seems to even out over time. Glad I have central AC.

    - Middle-age adult of the 2000s: damn, we f---ed up the climate big time. The lawn is dying in the summer and the snow melts before I get a chance to ski in the winter. The AC is on nearly as often as the heat. I pity my grandkids.

    Greg

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    Default Re: Northeast Drought

    If it's any consolation, the long term forecast is calling for above average precip in the 1-2 week range, and drought improvement in the longer term for new england.

    https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/

    If drought becomes the new norm for the northeast, it's going to be a huge challenge getting people to adapt. It's hard enough getting east coast transplants to stop watering their lawns in California! The suggestion of allowing your lawn to turn brown seasonally is like a personal insult to some folks.

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    Default Re: Northeast Drought

    Quote Originally Posted by gregl View Post
    My perception of the climate in upstate NY over the course of my life (thus far...):

    - Child of the '60s and '70s: why does it rain or snow all the time? No one has air conditioning, even in their new cars.

    - Young adult of the '80s and '90s: gee, it's getting warmer and dryer, but it still seems to even out over time. Glad I have central AC.

    - Middle-age adult of the 2000s: damn, we f---ed up the climate big time. The lawn is dying in the summer and the snow melts before I get a chance to ski in the winter. The AC is on nearly as often as the heat. I pity my grandkids.

    Greg
    My impression as well. It's completely anecdotal, but when I was a kid (in the 70's, into the 80's as a teen, mostly in MA) there used to be rainy days. Now, it seems like rainy days are few and far between. Just intense thunderstorms during the spring and summer.

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    Default Re: Northeast Drought

    We had a pretty chilly and wet spring that delayed planting for the farmers for weeks. Then it went to hot and dry before the plants were established. Then thunderstorms and weeks of rain after the farmers needed it. And now we are back to chilly nights in the range of freezing temps and dry again. Things got frost bitten at our favorite farm the last several nights and will probably get plowed under. And with the wind today there is a fire-risk warning, no-burn restriction in effect.

    My sense is that the irregularity is the biggest issue. No baseline. More cowbell.
    Last edited by j44ke; 09-22-2020 at 03:11 PM.

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    Default Re: Northeast Drought

    The biggest shift at the college weather station I’m familiar with, with data since 1793, isn’t so much that the seasonal precipitation has changed. It’s that the intensity of local events is off the hook. And that means that instead of watering plants and recharging the aquifer, that nasty-ass microburst channels your singletrack into a bobsled run and washes your k-car into the Hoosic River along with 2000 of your neighbors’ propane tanks.



    Global weirding.

    Also, the maples are stressed and firing prematurely all over eastern Mass.
    Last edited by thollandpe; 09-22-2020 at 07:26 PM.
    Trod Harland, Physical Educator

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    Default Re: Northeast Drought

    We are just getting a tiny touch of color change in this neighborhood.
    Guy Washburn

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    Default Re: Northeast Drought

    We had two wet years here in the Hilltowns, and the dry year has so far not upended the usual routine.

    To those who doubt climate change I simply say that humankind is turning the world into a toilet. There's usually no disagreement on that point.
    Jay Dwight

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