The U.S. Drought Monitor map of New Hampshire released Thursday shows the northern half of the state still exhibiting drought conditions despite three days of solid rain. On the intensity scale, yellow signifies "abnormally dry" and tan means "moderate drought." (COURTESY  GRAPHIC)

CONCORD — Despite three solid days of rain this week, the valley remains abnormally dry and a moderate drought continues in much of central and southern parts of New Hampshire.

North Conway local cooperative weather observer Ed Bergeron said his home observation station off West Side Road recorded 3.84 inches of precipitation the last three days of June (Sunday-Tuesday), bringing the monthly total up to 4.25 inches, just below the 30-year average of 4.36 inches.

Prior to the welcome rain showers, Bergeron recorded only .41 inches of rainfall for the month.

“It was good we got the rain, we needed it,” said Bergeron, a retired engineer, who also reports on the U.S. Geological Survey’s Saco River gauge in Center Conway.

“The river gauge went up 2 feet to 4.49 feet Wednesday morning, up from 2.77 the day before,” said Bergeron.

Mt. Washington Observatory weather observer Jay Broccolo said the summit recorded close to the 30-year average of 8.40 inches of precipitation in June, with 8.12 inches measured thanks to the rainy days, with .78 inches falling June 28, 3.37 inches June 29 and 1.47 inches June 30.

“3.37 inches is a lot for one day,” noted Broccolo.

James Martin, of the state Department of Environmental Services in Concord, said the drought continues as moderate.

Martin said in the summer growing season, what is needed is a steady, prolonged rain so the water can soak into the ground and not get soaked up by the summer vegetation so that it can replenish the groundwater.

According to Martin, the moderate drought conditions for the central and southern part of the state are the result of an exceptionally low snowpack this winter and lack of precipitation which have impacted rivers and streams, groundwater, soil moisture and reservoirs.

The U.S. Weather Service of Gray, Maine, reported at Concord received 2.32 inches of precipitation in June compared to the three-year average of 3.79 inches, with 2.14 inches coming in the last three days of the month.

“Our message to the public continues to be that conservation of water resources should be implemented. People should not relax just because we received a few days of rain,” Martin said.

The New Hampshire Drought Monitor map, updated every Thursday, showed July 2 that northern New Hampshire was abnormally dry.

The U.S. Weather Service is predicting mostly sunny skies with a high near 79 for North Conway on Independence Day, July 4.

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