SARANAC LAKE — After a dry start to summer, rain has returned to much of the state. But one area in particular is considerably dryer than normal.
The High Peaks region of the Adirondacks is about 5-7 inches below expected rainfall amounts this summer, according to a statewide weather monitoring system.
The Mesonet system is a series of weather stations that were installed in the wake of Tropical Storm Irene, which caused widespread and devastating flooding throughout the Adirondacks and Vermont.
Nick Bassill, a meteorologist with SUNY Albany, said a number of factors have contributed to the lack of rain in the High Peaks while other parts of the state are above normal. For instance, one Mesonet station in the Catskills area is plus-12.2 inches, while Watkins Glen — in the Finger Lakes region — recently experienced massive flooding that resulted in the cancellation of a multiday Phish festival. The economic loss of the cancellation is estimated at $25-30 million.
But over the last 90 days, stations in the Adirondacks are below the expected amount of precipitation, with one station currently at negative 7.3 inches.
“A lot of times, especially in later summer, some of our rain might be from hurricanes … or maybe from thunderstorm complexes that develop over Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota and move eastward,” Bassill said. “We haven’t really seen that at all this summer because our pattern hasn’t really been west to east, it’s been more south to north.
“So that kind of normal pattern I described, that hasn’t happened as much this year.”
The weather pattern has been stagnant this summer, Bassill said.
But the Adirondacks could get a reprieve in the near future, he said.
“We’re moving into more of a fall-like pattern, where you get those cooler nights, so basically it looks like the pattern is going to be less stagnant,” he said. “It picks up and moves a little faster, and when that happens it tends to spread things out a little more.”