Moist March relieves rainfall deficits
Posted March 16, 2009 9:00 a.m. EDT
Updated March 16, 2009 2:59 p.m. EDT
So far at least, March has gone a long way toward making up any rainfall deficits that were starting to build up a bit during a fairly dry stretch from early January into late February. The rains that affected the area this weekend added more than two inches to our monthly total at RDU, which also received a good soaking leading into our snowstorm two weeks back.
With all that, we're just now crossing the halfway point for the month, but our rainfall at the airport has reached 3.81 inches, just 22 hundredths below our normal total for the entire month, and while it certainly isn't a lock at this point, it wouldn't be out of the question to add another 1-3 tenths of an inch later today and this evening as yet another wave of low pressure rides along the frontal boundary that's been stalled through the weekend just to our south. The record for March rainfall is 7.78 inches from 1983, so we've got an unlikely distance to go to set any new marks. All of this is for the RDU airport of course. For a graphical representation of precipitation across the wider area, see the link to the NWS Precipitation Analysis Page.
It does appear we're in for a fairly dry stretch for a week to ten days or so after tonight, and we should see temperatures that have held way below normal for the past few days rebound to more typical levels for this time of year, though not to the 80s we saw last week. There is a cold front that will move into the area on Thursday, but at this point it appears precipitation with that front will only add a few hundredths to a couple tenths of an inch of rain to our current totals.
In the meantime, we should dry out and warm up a little for St Patrick's Day as an upper level trough finally moves off to our east, although the potential for a shallow layer of lingering low cloud cover makes it a hard call exactly how much sun may break through later tomorrow. In general, we'll likely see more sun and blue sky Tuesday afternoon from around the Triangle south and west, with more persistent areas of cloudiness toward the coastal plain. Either way, enjoy the wearin' o' the Green!