Despite damp weather to end the month, April 2013 was drier than normal, continuing a trend of below-average precipitation that has persisted since Hurricane Sandy's deluge last October.
Through the end of the month, 10.4 inches of rain have fallen at BWI Marshall Airport so far in 2013. April's tally was an inch shy of normal, at about 2.2 inches.
That was a third consecutive month of below-normal rainfall, and the fifth in six months. The trend began in November, a month after Hurricane Sandy helped bring nearly 9 inches of rain to BWI. January 2013 was also slightly above normal, at 3.64 inches.
The precipitation deficit is at more than 2.5 inches so far this year. Add to that a shortage of winter snowfall to recharge groundwater, and it could pose a challenge for growers come summertime. At BWI, about 7 inches of snow fell this winter, less than half the seasonal average.
Nevertheless, drought indicators monitored by the Maryland Department of the Environment were all normal as of March 31. That includes streamflow, groundwater and precipitation levels.
According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, all of the state except for parts of Garrett and Allegany counties are under normal water level conditions. In Western Maryland, the ground is "abnormally dry".
Baltimore-area reservoirs are at 100 percent capacity, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Two-thirds of groundwater measurements and 85 percent of streamflow measurements are normal, according to USGS.