Drought

 The drought conditions that have gripped much of the Northeastern U.S. this summer appear to have a silver lining — fewer ticks.

From Maine to Rhode Island, researchers say they expect tick numbers to be down from previous years especially for the blacklegged ticks, known as deer ticks, which transmit Lyme disease.

It's too early to say, however, whether fewer ticks could mean a decline in Lyme disease cases.

 

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker is urging residents to step up water conservation efforts after five months of abnormally dry conditions.

The U.S. Drought Monitor released a new map for the Northeast region that showed the area of extreme drought expanding in northeastern Massachusetts, including Boston, and into southern New Hampshire.

During a visit to a farm in North Andover, the Republican governor said the public can help by limiting water use in various ways, including taking shorter showers and washing only full loads of laundry or dishes.

Officials in a New Hampshire town say dozens of property owners have been warned about violating water restrictions in Salem.

Municipal Services Director Roy Sorenson tells The Eagle-Tribune the town is holding off on fining violators who comply with a ban on watering lawns and gardens at certain times during the drought.

The restrictions have come amid what the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services says are "severe drought conditions" in Rockingham County.

US Drought Mitigation Center

Despite the rainy weekend, the state’s environmental services department is continuing to urge residents in areas with severe drought to conserve water. 

The drought has been called the worst in New Hampshire in over a decade. While over 100 water systems in the state have formal outdoor watering bans and restrictions in place, the state is asking even those not listed to conserve water. 

US Drought Mitigation Center

The region's ongoing drought has forced state officials to restrict or ban outdoor water use in 54 New Hampshire towns and cities.

The state's drought management team has classified the North Country and the White Mountains as “abnormally dry,” while four counties in the southern tier are suffering severe drought conditions. 

lrargerich via Flickr/Creative Commons

Parts of southern New Hampshire are now in a severe drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

The affected area includes much of Rockingham and Hillsborough counties, as well as southern portions of Cheshire and Strafford counties.

mrd00dman via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/4Ar6iz

As the obesity epidemic grows, so does the business of weight-loss - a nearly 60 billion dollar industry devoted to the promise that losing weight improves quality of life, health and self-esteem. But does shedding pounds make you happier? On today’s show, we’ll explore the tenuous relationship between losing weight and improving your mood. Plus, a scholar investigates the history of religious satire from Martin Luther to Monty Python, and explains why comedy, rather than rage, is more likely to affect change.  

USGS

As you may have noticed, it’s been unusually dry here in the Granite State for the past few months.

Thunderstorms Thursday afternoon provided some much-needed rain, but federal officials recently classified most of central and southern New Hampshire as being in a moderate drought.

David Miskus specializes in drought monitoring for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

He joined Morning Edition to talk about what this all means.

lrargerich via Flickr/Creative Commons

Much of the state is officially in a drought.

WMUR reports the U.S. Department of Agriculture places central and southern New Hampshire in a moderate drought.

Northern areas of the state are in abnormally dry conditions.

Concord is running 5 inches below the average precipitation, going back to March 1.

River levels are also running lower than average.

Dry conditions have led to high fire risk across the state.

NOAA George E. Marsh Album

EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: Could it really be true that we are in the midst of the worst drought in the United States since the 1930s?                                                         -- Deborah Lynn, Needham, MA

Widespread Drought Affects New Hampshire

Jul 18, 2012
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/dietsch/3625875461/">Michael Dietsch</a> / Flickr

The country is experiencing its worst drought in 50 years. Although New Hampshire has avoided the brunt of the drought damage, the loss of crops from the Midwest has far reaching consequences.

Flikr Creative Commons / trubh

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association released temperature data for the past six months on Monday. Reports that NOAA’s data shows this to be hottest first half of the year yet in the Granite state.

New Hampshire wasn’t the only state to break records: all told twenty-eight states had their hottest first six months on record, and for another 15 states the temperatures ranked in the all-time top-ten.

A devastating drought consumed nearly all of Texas in 2011, killing livestock, destroying agriculture and sparking fires that burned thousands of homes. It was the worst single-year drought in the state's recorded history.