Monday, May 7, 2012

Same old story ... where's the rain?

It seems like we can't go more than five or six months around the Carolinas without having to talk about drought, but it's back in the conversation again.

Conditions are nowhere near as bad as a few years ago, when much of the Charlotte area was classified by NOAA as being in "exceptional drought," but the entire region has now moved into the "moderate drought" area -- the second-worst of five levels of dry soil conditions.

And there's isn't a lot of rain in sight.  In fact, we have only one really good shot at it in the next week, on Wednesday.

What happened Saturday is typical of how things unfold in drought conditions. Two separate systems could have brought thunderstorms to the Charlotte area, but the storms instead drifted over Winston-Salem and Greensboro and then into the Raleigh area. Granted, that kept the weather nice for the Wells Fargo Championship and other weekend plans, but we need the rain.

So far this year, precipitation is 5.22 inches below average at Charlotte/Douglas International Airport. To put that in perspective, we've received less than two-thirds of what we usually get.

A cold front is predicted to cross the region Wednesday, and computer models suggest there could be a fairly widespread outbreak of showers and thunderstorms. In fact, rainfall predictions are between a half-inch and an inch for Wednesday. Thunderstorms are also in the forecast for Tuesday, but those will probably not move out of the mountains.

After the frontal passage later Wednesday, we'll be under the control of a fairly strong high pressure system, and that means dry weather through Sunday. Temperatures will be a bit cooler than we've seen recently, but they'll be around seasonal averages, and at this time of year, seasonal averages are pretty nice (highs in the upper 70s, lows in the upper 50s).


Anonymous said...

Nice try at the forecast. You only barely missed. You said the rain would stay in the mtns providing no rain Tuesday in Charlotte. You were close. We only only got 2.6 inches.