WRAL WeatherCenter Blog

Return of the 80s, In Search of Rain!

Posted May 2, 2006

Well this time last week there was plenty of weather action to discuss with a mass of thunderstorms bearing down upon Central North Carolina. If you recall some of those storms were even severe having Greg and myself hopping in the Weather Center. That was the beginning of a three day period that was a bit unsettled and brought our rainfall deficit for the year at RDU down to just over 4". We closed out April with above average rainfall. The official total was 4.93"(2.13" above the 30 year average for the month).

We thought at that point we were transitioning into a wetter pattern. The following weekend was supposed to be unsettled, but a log jam of weather systems in the Atlantic Ocean prevented the next storm to our west from arriving on Sunday and Monday bringing us another round of showers and storms. Instead we were treated to a three day period of cool sunshine. I have to admit is was a gorgeous weekend, but I would have rather enjoyed more rain.

Now with the Raleigh City Council considering lifting the mandatory watering restrictions since Falls Lake and Jordan Lake are back to normal levels, I am concerned we are jumping the gun. One decent rainfall amidst a severe drought does not show just cause to ease water restrictions. We need to see more periodic rains which in turn would increase water inflow to our main bodies of drinking water. So far that has not happened!

With a return to 80 degree heat and the weather remaining dry Wednesday and Thursday there will be considerably more evaporation from area lakes and topsoil. In the next few days you will notice increased dryness of the topsoil and lawns which in turn would have more folks watering.

I am not trying to sound like chicken little but I would feel better if we saw a return to periodic rainfall. Granted we do have a chance for some thunderstorms Friday and Saturday, they will be scattered at best and not everyone may see rain. Those of us who do see rain could have storms dump as much as an inch of rain with some isolated areas seeing as much as 2".

In the coming days we will fine tune the forecast so we will have a better idea of timing of the rain and if any of the storms could become severe. Stay tuned!

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