Weather

Rainfall mostly insignificant today, even with chance of thunderstorms

A cloudy and gray morning with a few scattered showers will be followed by a several hours of warmer and somewhat more humid weather for the afternoon and evening.

There could then be another round of showers and perhaps a few thunderstorms between about 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. Even with both of these opportunities for showers, the amount of rain most areas will have received by midnight will be negligible.

The map below is from the high-resolution model. Notice most areas see under a quarter of an inch of rainfall. This amount, while better than a kick in the teeth, isn’t going to do much to alleviate the drought.

rainfall through today.png

Patterns come and go.
Remember the Texas drought? Just a couple of years ago we saw pictures of dried out farmland and slaughtered cattle for lack of food for grazing. In the two-year period between 2011 and 2013, Texas lost 15 percent of its cattle (approximately 2 million animals) due to an unrelenting drought.

The drought monitor map from the spring of 2013 shows most of that state under drought conditions.

texas drought 2013may.jpg

Wet Spring
While we have seen very little rain this month and the forecast continues the dry pattern for the foreseeable future, Texas has been in a favorable pattern for rain. The latest drought monitor shows basically the entire state of Texas has now become drought free.

texas drought 2015.png

Over the past month, Texas has received a lot of rain. Some small areas in the northeast part of the state have gotten over 20 inches of rain! This is all occurring while here some areas have seen barely any measurable rain in the same time period.

rainfall past 30 texas.jpg

Upper pattern will eventually shift.
The wind flow in the upper levels of the atmosphere continues to bring generally dry air into New England. This pattern (see image below), keeps air flowing from northwest and prevents much, if any, moisture from reaching the region.

upper pattern may 2015.jpg

Even when we do have moisture moving through, such as this morning’s showers, the moisture is drying up.

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It will rain again, and eventually we should see a day with an inch or more of rain.

However, there’s a saying, “drought begets drought.” Patterns like this can lock themselves into an area for weeks, months, and sometimes years. I’m not saying this is the start of a multi-year drought like we had back in the 1960s, but things like that do happen.


As the ground dries, it becomes easier for the air to stay dry and to miss showers. Lack of ground moisture means less to evaporate, and this continues the cycle of dry weather.
After today, the dry flow of air will bring sunshine and seasonable temperatures to New England through the holiday weekend. If you are opening up your summer house, having your first barbeque, or planning any outdoor activities, the dry weather will be welcomed. Just remember, we need rain.

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