Julia Botero / WRVO News

ALBANY, N.Y. — The federal Small Business Administration is offering disaster loans to New York businesses hurt by the months-long drought.

“Abnormal” is how the National Weather Service is describing this weekend’s rainfall. While rainfall totals over just a couple of days reached as much as three to five inches in some areas of Western New York, it isn’t enough to count the region out of drought conditions just yet.

Despite recent rain, WNY remains under drought status

Oct 4, 2016
United States Drought Monitor

Although rain finally arrived in late summer and early fall, Western and Central New York remain under drought status, says the United States Drought Monitor. One climatologist says even if Hurricane Matthew takes a path that brings abundant rain to the region, it will have little impact on a drier-than-usual environment this year.

Avery Schneider / WBFO News

Weekend weather broke local records, but not the kind most Western New Yorkers might think. The sultry temperatures and conditions are expected to be followed by more of the same, but with some added relief for current drought conditions.

WBFO News file photo

Senator Charles Schumer says the drought in Upstate New York could  be a disaster for farmers in the fall.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

It will be a beautiful day across the region Tuesday, with low humidity, but the muggy weather will return by mid-week. Temperatures will climb into the 90's with hot and humid conditions by Thursday and Friday. There is no relief in sight from the very dry weather.

WBFO's Mike Desmond

The symbol this year for Buffalo's annual Garden Walk could have been a hose, as exhibitors talked of what they did to keep their plants flourishing during the summer drought.

It's official, WNY... we're in a drought

Jul 7, 2016
United States Drought Monitor

The summer of 2016 has been a dry one so far in Western New York. As of now, a vast majority of the region is categorized as having "moderate drought" conditions. And in spite of rain forecast for this weekend, it appears Western New York will remain dry most of the summer.

WBFO News photo by Brian Meyer

With leaves already on the ground from trees stressed by this season's drought, is there anything that can be done to help them for next year?

In City Hall, Andrew Rabb is the deputy commissioner of public works in charge of parks. He's also in charge of trees across the city, whether in the parks or trees between the curb and the sidewalk.

Rabb says even now, as the summer heat fades away, those trees may need help.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Erie and Niagara Counties continue to suffer from a moderate drought.  There is a good chance your lawn is brown and flowers are struggling.  WBFO & AM-970's Eileen Buckley met up with two local north Buffalo gardeners at the Parkside Community Association who offer advise as the dry conditions are expected through the rest of the summer.

"I love putting on the sprinkler and sitting and sprinkling my lawn.  But I quit doing that because it is wasting water," said Ruth Lampe,  an avid gardener. 

Photo by Eileen Buckley / WBFO News

Western New York is in the midst of a drought.  Rain late last week brought some relief.  But it wasn't nearly enough to help the region's farmers whose crop yields are expected to be much lower this year. 

Buffalo News Suburban Editor Bruce Andriatch joins Mark Scott on this week's Press Pass on WBFO and AM 970 for a discussion of the drought's local impact.

Moderate drought conditions continue in WNY

Jul 20, 2012
chart from U.S. Drought Monitor

Despite some light rain showers over the last 12 hours, the area's dry weather is expected to continue for most of the remaining summer.

The Northeast Regional Climate Center at Cornell University reports high levels of precipitation are needed to offset the abnormally dry weather.

As landowners report  their struggles growing hay, corn and other crops, the numbers highlight the level of the problem.

The Climate Center says the Buffalo area has received under 15 inches of precipitation so far this year, that's about 72 percent of standard levels.

File Photo / WBFO/AM 970 News

Data from the US Drought Monitor indicates that portions of Western New York have officially reached drought status.

The News reports that Niagara and a majority of Erie County have registered for "moderate drought" status. The City of Buffalo is down 5 inches from normal precipitation levels at this point in the year. Grand Island officials are asking residents to voluntarily restrict their water usage, and New York State is suspending existing burning permits and placing a temporary ban on residential burning.