The Pennsylvania Drought Task Force met this week to discuss conditions. Despite some very dry and hot weather of recent weeks, no drought problems are being reported at this time. Tom Rathbun, a spokesman for the PA Department of Environmental Protection, says moisture levels are okay, thanks in part to a very wet and cool spring. He says the DEP monitors a number of different parameters, including watching rainfall amounts. The state shares a monitoring network with the US Geological Survey that checks groundwater levels and stream levels. He says the PA Department of Agriculture also monitors soil moisture. Rathbun says all of those parameters together can tell if the state is entering drought conditions.
The last time Pennsylvania declared a drought emergency was in 2002. Rathbun says the Drought Task Force has no further meetings planned, but will continue to monitor soil and moisture conditions as the summer progresses.