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60 Percent Of Maine Is In A 'Severe Drought'

U.S. Drought Monitor

Almost 60% of Maine is in a "severe drought" stage now.

Michael Clair, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray, says a portion of Aroostook County is now seeing the effects of "extreme" drought.

"Crops are worse off, wells start to go dry. We've heard a few cases of that, and reduced flow in rivers."

Clair says some rivers across the state have hit historically low water levels, with almost all others within 10% of historic lows.

The situation, he says, would be far worse if last winter had not featured a good snow pack. The state was able to start the spring with a decent amount of groundwater recharge, due to melting snow.

Clair says it is not yet clear exactly when a major pattern shift might occur and bring wetter conditions to the region. Different weather factors influence the winter snow storms Maine typically gets, and he says it is possible the drought will end as winter approaches.

Originally published at 9:57 a.m. Sept. 20, 2020.