LI no longer 'abnormally dry,' says drought monitor

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Remember how we grumbled about last weekend's rain and Monday's surprise snow?

Well, that rain and melted snow -- 4.6 inches at Long Island Macarthur Airport -- helped remove areas of Long Island from the "abnormally dry" category on the U.S. Drought Monitor's map, which was updated yesterday morning.

Nassau County and western Suffolk had been so designated in the monitor's least intense category, referring to a "watch" area that's "possibly heading for drought," according to the Drought Monitor website.

The recent rain and snow helped alleviate the dry conditions, said Joey Picca, National Weather Service meteorologist in Upton.

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Still, thanks to dead branches and other fuels that can dry out quickly, the threat of brushfires remains, especially on dry, windy days, he said.

That's at least until leaves pop out and the area experiences "green up," he said.

Long Island can expect another half-inch of rain Friday on average, Picca said. Normal rainfall for April is 3.97 inches.

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