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"Abnormal" weekend rainfall a step towards end of drought

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“Abnormal” is how the National Weather Service is describing this weekend’s rainfall. While rainfall totals over just a couple of days reached as much as three to five inches in some areas of Western New York, it isn’t enough to count the region out of drought conditions just yet.

NWS Meteorologist Steve Welch said especially high levels of rainfall occurred from the Southern Tier to the Finger Lakes, and in areas east of Lake Ontario.

“Most areas saw between three and five inches in those high locations,” said Welch. “The Buffalo Airport area saw right around two to two-and-a-half inches for most places in the Niagara Frontier. There was some minor poor drainage flooding down in Allegany County.”

So much rainfall in such a short period is not only out-of-the-ordinary for this time of year, it’s also good news for those worried about the region’s longstanding drought.

“It did help with helping alleviate somewhat of the drought conditions,” said Welch. “But it’s not completely gone.”

There are still several areas of Western New York that have seen “below-level amounts of rain,” keeping the drought in place.

Welch said, “Another situation like this [weekend’s] in a couple of weeks, a little bit spread out over a little bit more time, ideally,” could potentially end the drought.

Looking to the week ahead, chances of rain forecasted throughout the week will be nothing like what was seen over the weekend. Precipitation is expected to come in far more mild showers.

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