Recent rains continue to have an impact on the weeks-long drought conditions recorded in the Valley into the summer. The latest U.S. Drought Monitor update shows a continued decrease in percentage of the area considered “abnormally dry” on the drought monitor classification system. That said, there is still a part of each of our counties classified as drier than normal on the August 10, 2023 issuance of the U.S. Drought Monitor.
What has changed in the August 10, 2023 Drought Monitor update in the Youngstown, Ohio area?
The side-by-side comparison below shows the changes in the drought monitor. The last of our area considered to be in a moderate drought was downgraded on the August 3, 2023 issuance of the U.S. Drought Monitor. However, there still remained a large part of the area considered to be abnormally dry. The August 10, 2023 Drought Monitor update shows further decrease in parts of the Valley considered abnormally dry. Slide the bar below to the right to see the August 3, 2023 update and to the left to see the update released today, Thursday, August 10, 2023.
All or parts of the following communities remain classified as abnormally dry in the August 10, 2023 U.S. Drought Monitor update:
How have drought conditions changed in the Youngstown, Ohio area over the last month?
Looking back at the last four updates to the U.S. Drought Monitor, you can see continued improvement from the July 20, 2023 update to the August 10, 2023 update. The drought monitor issued July 20, 2023 showed the majority of our viewing area considered in a moderate drought and 100% of each of our counties was considered abnormally dry.
The next update, issued on July 27, 2023, showed improvements. Each county except for Columbiana County had a drop in percentage of area considered to be in a moderate drought. There was a drop in percentage of Trumbull, Columbiana and Lawrence counties considered abnormally dry.
The update issued on August 3, 2023 was the first in nine weeks that didn’t have at least a part of one of our counties considered to be in a moderate drought. There was continued improvement in Trumbull, Columbiana and Lawrence counties in percentage of those counties considered abnormally dry. There was also improvement in percentage of Mercer County considered abnormally dry. All of Mahoning County remained in the abnormally dry classification.
Improvements continued in the August 10, 2023 update where the only county where the majority of communities remain classified as abnormally dry is Mercer County. The majority of Mahoning County was removed from the dry classification and only a small sliver of Trumbull and Columbiana County remains in that classification.
Below is a look at the percentage of each county considered abnormally dry and in a moderate drought between the July 20 and August 10, 2023 Drought Monitor updates.
|County||Drought Monitor Update Date||% of county considered Abnormally Dry||% of county considered in Moderate Drought|
|Trumbull||July 20, 2023||100%||97.1%|
|July 27, 2023||97.1%||3.29%|
|August 3, 2023||46.2%||0%|
|August 10, 2023||18.26%||0%|
|Mahoning||July 20, 2023||100%||88.65%|
|July 27, 2023||100%||76.85%|
|August 3, 2023||100%||0%|
|August 10, 2023||17.04%||0%|
|Columbiana||July 20, 2023||100%||41.14%|
|July 27, 2023||83.87%||41.14%|
|August 3, 2023||54.38%||0%|
|August 10, 2023||3.97%||0%|
|Mercer||July 20, 2023||100%||100%|
|July 27, 2023||100%||27.48%|
|August 3, 2023||64.97%||0%|
|August 10, 2023||64.97%||0%|
|Lawrence||July 20, 2023||100%||28.11%|
|July 27, 2023||43.52%||0%|
|August 3, 2023||21.85%||0%|
|August 10, 2023||21.85%||0%|
Are more improvements likely in the abnormally dry conditions in the Youngstown, Ohio area?
There are several chances for some widespread rain and potential complexes of thunderstorms over the next seven days. The increased rain chances, combined with the rain that fell in the early morning hours on Thursday, August 10, would position us for possible continued improvements in classifications on the Drought Monitor.
Looking ahead at the next seven days, there are two windows we are watching: Friday night and Saturday, then Monday into Tuesday. Both those windows have elevated rain chances as things look on the latest data Thursday evening. Both storm systems have the potential to bring bouts of widespread rain with thunderstorms capable of producing heavier downpours.
Looking deeper into the month, there is a trend in the latest modeling suggesting a period of drier conditions middle to late month. The 8-14 day precipitation outlook, issued by the Climate Prediction Center, shows our area on the fringes of a swath of the U.S. leaning toward possible drier than normal conditions. The outlook below is valid for the dates of August 18-24, 2023.
We will monitor the trend, but given the elevated rain chances in the near-term forecast, there is an elevated chance more of the Mahoning and Shenango valleys are downgraded from abnormally dry conditions on the next U.S. Drought Monitor update, scheduled to be released Thursday, August 17, 2023.
Until then, you can keep tabs on rain chances and if any August heat is heading our way in the latest 7-day Forecast for the Mahoning and Shenango Valleys.