CLEVELAND (WJW) — While we’ve enjoyed sunny, mild and dry days recently, it does come at a cost. The water table is running just a tad dry.

FOX 8 meteorologist Dontae Jones says that although these drought conditions are only mild to moderate throughout the state, the little amount of rain we’ll get on Saturday won’t make a dent.

He says when meteorologists look at the soil moisture content, they 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,” seen here.

In essence, they 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 (threat for flooding with any given extra rain) or not enough moisture (threat of drought).

There are levels of drought, however. All drought is not the same.

The five categories, Abnormally Dry, Moderate Drought, Severe Drought, Extreme Drought, Exceptional Drought, are based on how long the lack of moisture has been persisting and the impacts to the ecosystem based on the lack of moisture. 

While northern and Northeast Ohio have been seeing rain, it has just not been as much as we’re used to.

Northwest Ohio usually receives more rain but has not had enough rain to meet the average for quite some time so that’s why they are in a “Moderate Drought.”

Northeast Ohio also has not had enough rain to meet the average, but we’ve had more than northwest Ohio so we are in the least intense level, “Abnormally Dry.”

Of course, more rain/snow will alleviate this. Abnormally dry is not a category that meteorologists are too concerned with as a little bit more rain will wipe this away. If it persists for weeks on end then it can turn into “Moderate Drought” and we start to pay attention but not overly concerned.

So all in all, while Ohio is lacking in moisture, meteorologists aren’t too concerned, especially if we get the amount of snow expected this winter