WRAL WeatherCenter Blog

Some Needed Rain, but not Widespread

Posted July 2, 2007

A week ago I mentioned that we appeared to be in for some hot, humid weather followed by cooler and drier conditions later in the weekend and early this week, and that we could potentially see some decent rainfall during the transition as a cold front slid south across the region. For some of us, that all became a reality. For many areas, though, the front failed to produce rainfall that was as widespread in coverage as it appeared might be the case a few days before it moved in.

Certainly, there were some places that got lots of rain within the past week. A broad complex that affected the Piedmont to our west left a sizable band with rainfall amounts anywhere from one to four inches above normal for the seven day period, and there was likewise a band from about Moore County (just ask the LPGA!) east to southern Johnston and then on over to southern Pitt County that saw rainfall reach 200-500% of normal for the period. Outside those two bands, however, a lot of the showers were widely scattered and/or brief, with rainfall around 10-60% percent of normal. To see these areas depicted on a map, just go to

http://www.srh.noaa.gov/rfcshare/precip_analysis_new.php

then click on North Carolina to enlarge our state, and select "last seven days" (or a span of your choice) from the box at the left below the map. You can then select from "observed" rainfall, "normal" rainfall, and departures from the normal in terms of inches of rain or by percentage.

Although we have had some days with storms and significant localized downpours across the state in recent weeks, the overall pattern remains rather dry, and much of the southeast is still designated in a drought status. About the southwestern half of our coverage area is still considered to be in moderate drought, with the remainder classed as abnormally dry. More serious conditions remain confined to western NC, where the mountains range from severe to extreme drought. An even drier regime dominates farther southwest, with much of Alabama suffering "exceptional" drought. You can see the southeastern "Drought Monitor" map at

http://www.drought.unl.edu/dm/DM_southeast.htm

As for the next several days, we appear to be set up for a mainly dry pattern across the area through at least Thursday thanks to a ridge of high pressure currently north of us that will settle in as a Bermuda High to our east by midweek. Initially, east to northeast winds will keep rather low dewpoints in place along with slightly below normal temperatures. This will make for a very comfortable start to the week by July standards. By Independence Day or so, we should start to warm a bit, and after that we're back to summer heat with increasing humidity. There does appear to be a weak trough aloft that will move into the region on Friday. That feature may bring some scattered showers and storms back into the picture, although some computer models imply that deep moisture will be lacking with that system, a condition that may greatly limit the duration and coverage of rainfall for many of us if it proves accurate.

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