Drought conditions in southeastern New Hampshire are expected to last through the fall, the N.H. Department of Environmental Services announced Friday.
In a news release citing State Climatologist Mary Stampone, the department said that “well-below average precipitation” in September made conditions worse, and recent rain has not made up for the low snowpack and precipitation earlier this year that caused the drought.
As of Thursday, the entire state was in a drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, a project of the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and federal agencies.
Strafford County and parts of surrounding areas were in extreme drought. Most of the state — including all of Hillsborough County and most of Cheshire County — was in severe drought, one step down. A narrow stretch along the Connecticut River in Cheshire and Sullivan counties was in moderate drought.
“Lake levels continue to fall and some are below levels experienced in decades,” DES said in the release. River flows and groundwater levels are also low, and new wells are being installed in some parts of the state as the water table drops.
The state is urging residents to stop nonessential water uses like watering lawns and washing cars.