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Recent rainfall likely eases drought in southern Maine

Rain finally fell Monday where it was needed most, from central York County, northward along the Maine coast.

The National Weather Service reported 2.19 inches of rain in Portland, 1.54 inches in Rockland, and 2.66 inches in Sanford. A few other spots in central York County reported up to 6 inches of rain.

Metorologist Derek Schroeter at the Weather Service office in Gray said it won't totally erase the precipitation deficit. That, he said, would take six-inches of rain over the next month. But Schroeter said that rain should be easier to come by, now that July and August, two of the driest months of the year, are nearly behind us.

"The jet stream gets a little stronger and starts to sink further south," Schroeter said. "We'll be looking for more in the way of those steady rainfalls that come from low pressure systems moving across the areas, as opposed to a cold front bringing just scattered showers and thunderstorms."

Schroeter predicts Monday's rain should be enough to improve the drought conditions by one level in southern Maine. Currently, coastal regions from the New Hampshire border to Penobscot Bay are said to be experiencing "severe drought," the third level on a five level scale.

The federal government updates drought assessments every Thursday.