Recent rain is ‘liquid gold’ for New Jersey
New Jersey has been on the precipice of drought conditions in recent months, but the recent rainfall has made a big difference.
While the state is not quite out of the woods just yet, if the pattern of average rainfall returns for the summer months, there will be no need for concern, according to Dr. Dave Robinson, New Jersey state climatologist at Rutgers University.
"The last week to ten days have provided liquid gold to all corners of the Garden State," Robinson said. "This rain that began on May 31 and continued into the first couple of days of June and again Monday night into Tuesday has been very welcome. It's been very beneficial, not only for our lawns and gardens, but for the agricultural community and the water supply, especially in the northern and central part of the state which rely on surface reservoirs for their water."
Much of the state has seen anywhere from 2 to 5 inches of rain since May 31, with some of the drier areas in the central and northeastern parts of the state. The southwestern part of the state has had upwards of 5 to 6 inches of rain, going back the last 30 days.
"If you look at the last 30 days, the state is running close to average for that 30-day period, which is about four inches of rain. Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth counties have had close to three inches where the southwest has had five to six inches. So, all has been beneficial, but if you look at the 30 to 60 day pattern or rainfall, it's easy to see that we need more to fill up our soils, lakes, rivers and reservoirs, but we're holding our own right now," Robinson said.
If the state has returned to a pattern of average rainfall, which is roughly an inch a week over the summer season, everything will be fine.
"We didn't fall into too deep a recess that getting back to average precipitation wouldn't help us get out of the woods. So, if we continue to have average rainfall, we will be fine. Of course, we don't know what the weeks ahead will bring, but for every day and week that doesn't send us into dry conditions, the better off we'll be," Robinson said.
Some parts of the state have gotten 3 to 5 inches of rain or more, which is above average. However, rain does not fall in even weekly increments and some areas have only seen an inch and a half to 2 inches of rainfall which is not out of the ordinary.