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Above-average September rainfall ends drought for much of Maine

drought map maine.PNG
U.S. Drought Monitor
A Sept. 29 map of Maine from the U.S. Drought Monitor, with beige representing moderate drought and yellow representing abnormally dry conditions.

Last week's rainfall went a long way toward easing, and in many places, eliminating the drought in Maine.

Both Portland and Augusta have received slightly more rain this month compared to the usual September average. This month's rainfall was enough to eliminate drought conditions for western Maine and regions Down East.

During the last week alone, parts of Androscoggin and Cumberland Counties recorded more than two inches of rain, said Hunter Tubbs, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Gray. Rangeley and parts of Franklin County recorded more than three inches, he said.

"The last several weeks have been above-average after a long dry stretch," Tubbs said.

A small area in the Midcoast is still in a moderate drought, according to the latest maps from the federal government. And a corner of southwestern Penobscot County, down through the Augusta region and hugging the coast from Rockland to coastal Cumberland County, is abnormally dry.

There are no longer any areas of severe drought of Maine.

But the next week or two is expected to be relatively dry, Tubbs said. Hurricane Ian is expected to track over the mid-Atlantic states this weekend.

"Though in our area, we're going to have a big area of high pressure from Canada that's going to be moving into our region this weekend," he said. "That's going to keep almost, if not all of the precipitation with Ian, well to our south."

With little rain in the forecast, Tubbs said some regions that are still abnormally dry could worsen in the next week or two. But October and November typically bring more precipitation, as the possibility for nor'easters usually increases in Maine.