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Dry conditions persist as drought watch lingers

RALPH WILSON/Sun-Gazette Correspondent Corinne McLaughlin steps off the roof of the tallest building in downtown Williamsport at the Over The Edge fundraiser on Saturday. Raising money for the YWCA, River Valley Regional YMCA and the WASD Education Foundation, the event offered the opportunity to repel down the side of the Genetti Hotel to West Fourth St. below. McLaughlin was part of the team representing UPMC.

No rain is in the forecast until the beginning of next week at the earliest.

“It’s getting dryer and dryer,” Michael Dangelo, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in State College, said Sunday afternoon.

Much of the region, including all of Lycoming County, is in a drought watch, Dangelo said as he referred to information provided by the state Department of Environmental Protection, the agency that declares drought emergencies.

Potter County is the only county in the state under a drought warning.

“Conditions are going to continue to be very dry, real dry,” he said.

“No rain is in sight until probably Sunday,” he added. “We’re really now getting into drought.”

Dangelo said, “We’re about four inches below normal for this time of year. Normal is about 30 inches, and we’re 25.7 inches now. While that doesn’t seem too bad, for the month of September, we should have more than 2.5 inches right now. So far we have had less than a quarter in of rain.”

Under a “drought watch,” residents are encouraged to reduce their water use by 5 to 10 percent, based on an individual’s daily use of 62 gallons of water per day, according to Deb Klenotic, a DEP spokeswoman. “That means a reduction of three to six gallons of water per day,” she said in a news release.

The high temperature today will be between 66 and 70 degrees, Dangelo said, adding “the temperature will be climbing a couple of degrees each day. By Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, we could see 80 degrees or higher.”

“Our overnight lows will be warmer than what we’ve had the last week,” Dangelo said.

Low temperatures tonight will be in the upper 30s, especially in the rural valleys, but by the middle of the week, overnight lows will climb to the upper 40s to lower 50s, he added.

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