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LI remains in moderate drought status

After a string of monthly precipitation deficits, Long Island remains in the moderate drought category, according to Thursday's update of the U.S. Drought Monitor.

The ongoing precipitation shortfalls started with April's 2.68 inches below the norm; followed by May's 3.36; June's 0.22; and July's 1.69, according to data from the National Weather Service, which maintains the Island's weather records for Long Island MacArthur Airport. As of day-end Wednesday, August rainfall at the airport was 0.58 below the norm, the weather service said.

Over the past few months, several storms that could have brought relief passed the area by, said Samantha Borisoff, climatologist with the Northeast Regional Climate Center at Cornell University. The rainfall that has arrived "hasn't been enough to make up the deficit, which began to accumulate during spring," she said.

The Island was first deemed to be in moderate drought, the least intense of the monitor's four drought categories, in the third week of May.

As for any upcoming opportunities to ease those dry conditions, a storm that could have brought widespread rainfall Friday into Saturday appears to be moving to the south of the area, said Carlie Buccola, weather service meteorologist in Upton. That leaves just a slight chance of light rain for those days.

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