Despite some rainfall, the Kenai Peninsula is still experiencing a drought. Drought conditions remain the same as last week, with an extreme drought in the northwestern portion of the Kenai Peninsula and a severe drought in the rest of the peninsula, according to the updated Sept. 5 U.S. Drought Monitor map.
“The precipitation was not enough to warrant any improvements, but was enough to stave off further deterioration,” the U.S. Drought Monitor’s summary said.
The U.S. Drought Monitor — produced in partnership with the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the United States Department of Agriculture and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration — measures droughts using five levels, level zero being abnormally dry conditions with no drought, and the fourth level being an exceptional drought.
In its summary, the U.S. Drought Monitor said August was the driest and warmest ever recorded in Anchorage.
Kenai had an abnormally dry summer, too. More rain fell the first three days of September than in the entire month of August. In the whole month of August, the city saw 0.22 inches of rain fall — which fell between Aug. 30 and 31. The only measurable rainfall in between the beginning of September until Friday, Sept. 6 was in the first three days, when 0.36 inches fell in the areas.
In Kenai, the average daily temperature for August was 58 degrees, about 3 degrees above normal temperature for the month, according to the National Weather Service. The highest temperature Kenai saw in August was 69.3 degrees, about 6 degrees warmer than the normal August high of 63.9 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.
Between June 1 and Aug. 12, Kenai has received 1.51 inches of rainfall — a nearly 40% decrease in the average rainfall for the area, which is 3.88 inches of rain.
Abnormally dry conditions turned into a moderate drought in early August, and the U.S. Drought Monitor placed much of the peninsula in a moderate drought Aug. 8.
A slight chance of rain exists for the weekend, with a likely chance of rain on Saturday, according to the National Weather Service.