In reporting on the 2007 drought you give the annual rainfall deficit since January 1, 2007. What happened to the 2006 deficit? In other words, what is our cumulative deficit over the last couple of years?

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Vern Van Bruggen

MIKE MOSS SAYS:      Vern,    For calendar year 2006, RDU recorded 53.69 inches of rainfall, which was 10.6 inches above normal. As of today (22 December) rain at RDU is about 9.3 inches below normal for 2007. A cumulative anomaly (about +1 inch in this case) stretching over two years (or several) isn't always especially helpful, since the impacts of drought can be more focused on the most recent half-year or so if that period involved rainfall well below normal and evaporative losses and water demand were exacerbated by unusually warm temperatures, which has been the case in the current event. Also, since the beginning of 2007, at least, much of the region has experienced rainfall deficits that are notably larger than those indicated by the numbers for RDU, since on several occasions in the spring and summer relatively heavy showers that covered only a small part of the area happend to affect the airport.

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