Drought Warning could be issued for north, central NJ
Drought warnings are expected in parts of New Jersey as soon as next week.
New Jersey had a dry summer, and on July 25 a drought watch was issued by the state Department of Environmental Protection for 12 counties in North and Central Jersey. Under the watch, residents in the affected areas were urged to voluntarily conserve water. The rest of the state was asked "to practice wise water use due to continued dry weather that is impacting levels in reservoirs, lakes, rivers and streams as well as shallow ground water sources."
Meteorologist Dan Zarrow said that year-to-date rainfall at Newark Liberty International Airport is now more than 10 inches below normal.
Following a required public meeting scheduled for Thursday in Milburn, a drought warning would be issued in Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, and Union.
The order would allow the DEP to have water suppliers take action to lessen the impact of a potential water emergency.
"The tropical moisture from Hurricane Matthew did wonders to alleviate drought concerns — but only in South Jersey, which saw areas of 3-plus inches of rainfall," Zarrow said. "On the other end of the state, Bergen County has been upgraded to "Severe Drought" in the latest U.S. Drought Monitor. The area of "Moderate Drought" extends from North Jersey down through parts of Ocean, Burlington, and Camden counties.
Zarrow said some showers will clip New Jersey on Sunday night but not nearly enough to help ease water concerns.
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