State Climatologist Says Drought Is Spreading

NJ Spotlight News | November 18, 2013 | Energy & Environment
David Robinson says officials may put a drought warning out for the entire state.

After droughts have been declared in parts of New Jersey, State Climatologist David Robinson told NJTV News Managing Editor Mike Schneider that the drought is spreading and officials are right at the cusp of putting the drought warning out through the entire state.

Robinson explained that there is a national drought monitor, which is a weekly map that is produced by a committee that seeks input from specialists around the nation. Then as the State Climatologist, Robinson pulls from the weather service and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Services and then makes a recommendation on how different portions of the state should be designated in terms of abnormal dryness and drought.

The northern corner of the state is the worst right now but conditions are continuing to deteriorate further south, Robinson said. He said as of last week, the drought has extended to Ocean and Burlington counties.

The reason that the south is not as bad as the north is because in October, there was a nor’easter in the southern part of New Jersey that never made it up to the northern part of the state.

Robinson said that winter droughts are sneaky because in the summer it is easier to see drought since more people are using water on their lawns and in their pools. In the winter, less water is used and it is usually a time for reservoirs to recuperate from the water used in the summer, Robinson said.

“There’s nothing to suggest that drought conditions will continue any more than there are that drought conditions will lessen as we go through the winter. It is a wait and see unfortunately,” said Robinson.