Mariton: How Dry Is It?

October 7, 2014

by Tim Burris, Preserve Manager

Just about everyone realizes it has been really dry for the last couple of months.  Yes, we have had rain now and then, but unless you check a rain gauge, you may not realize how little rain we have been receiving.  Just the other day I was working near the headwaters of the Tohickon Creek, and it was almost dry.  I hate to say it was just a trickle, because there wasn’t much water actually moving in the creek bed.  When we went to the lake for our kayak trip there was a band of gravel several feet wide that is normally under a foot of water.

In September, Mariton received 1.69 inches of rain.  That was the total for the month and we only had measurable rain on seven days.  One day we received 0.61 inches, but the other days it was much less.  For most of the month the dewpoints have been in 50’s or lower.  One day I saw a dew point of 35.  That is dry air!  Not much rain soaks in when the humidity is so low and the ground is so dry.  For perspective, my average September rainfall is 5.98 inches.  We have had drier years.  In September 2007 we only received 0.97 inches for the month.  In 2005, it was 1.05 inches.

We are still barely holding a surplus for the year.  We have received about 2 inches more than the average for this point in the year.