It's no secret that we've been falling short on rainfall lately, but do you realize just how terribly dry it has been? I looked over some of the numbers and here's what I've come up with.
The period from June 1st – August 31st (climatological summer) only brought us a measly 6.41” of rain at McCormick Observatory. Of course there will be some minor variations across the area due to the scattered nature of showers and storms over the course of a summer, but most of us were substantially slighted in the rainfall category. This tiny amount of rain actually ranked in at 5th driest summer overall, with records dating back to 1895. Since August 31st, we've only received 0.01” of rain in the gauge, so September is picking up where August left off.
Going back one month to August 8th, we have been particularly dry with only 1.08” of rain being recorded over the past 30 days. The weather pattern we've been stuck in for most of the summer has been conducive to dry conditions. A broad area of high pressure (sinking air = few clouds and not much rain) has been in control of our forecast straight through the summer. This has blocked or weakened any significant rain that has tried to approach our area, leading to the dry conditions. This has lead to a yearly rainfall deficit on the order of 8 – 12” depending on exactly where you live here in central Virginia. A new drought status will be released on Thursday morning and those results will be the focus of a new blog.
Until then, how has this dry summer impacted you? Have you changed any of your habits to try and conserve water? If so, what have you done differently? I look forward to hearing from some of you!