CLEVELAND (WJW) — Although it’s been hazy, we’ve experienced sunny, mild and dry days recently, but that does come at a cost.

After 19 days without rain, Northeast Ohio is considered to be in a moderate drought. According to Fox 8 Meteorologist Dontae Jones, we have started to pay attention, but are not overly concerned at this point.

The water table is running just a tad dry. When we look at the soil moisture content, we take measurements of the rainfall and how much has soaked into the soil vs. runoff (extra soil that just sits and evaporates.)

This measurement is called the Drought Monitor.

In essence, we’ll take the average number of inches of rain that we should have in any given time period and compare it to how much has actually fallen then make the determination if there is excess moisture or not enough moisture.

Measurements are taken every week on Tuesday and published on Thursday.

There are levels of drought, all drought is not the same. It is categorized from the least intense: abnormally dry to the most intense: exceptional drought.

There are five categories including, abnormally dry, moderate drought, severe drought, extreme drought and exceptional drought. These get categorized based on how long the lack of moisture has been persisting and the impacts on the ecosystem based on the lack of moisture. 

  • Least Intense – abnormally dry: Short-term dryness, slowing planting, growth of crops or pastures
  • More Intense – moderate drought: Some damage to crops, and pastures. Streams, reservoirs, and wells are low. voluntary water restrictions requested
  • Even More Intense – severe drought: Crop or pasture losses likely, water shortages common, water restrictions imposed
  • Even More Intense – Extreme Drought: Major crop/pasture losses, widespread water shortages/restrictions imposed
  • Most Intense – exceptional drought: Exceptional and widespread crop/pasture losses, shortages of water in reservoirs, streams, and wells creating water emergencies

Northeast Ohio usually receives more rain and has not had enough rain to meet the average for quite some time so we are considered to be in a moderate drought.

While Northeast Ohio has not seen rain in 19 days, there is rain forecasted in the coming weeks. Click here for the forecast.

All in all, while we are lacking in moisture, would not be too concerned especially if we get the amount of rain we expect in the coming weeks, Jones said.