DroughtMDSep2Moving aside from the heat this week, the other weather factor standing out for all of the Mid Atlantic is how dry it has been lately. Even if you were lucky enough for one of the scattered thunderstorms, overall we have not had much rain. Especially since our record June. Even though lawns are looking more and more brown, the official view from NOAA and the US Drought Monitor is that we are NOT in a drought. Only parts of western Maryland reach the minimal criteria for ‘abnormally dry’. See the numbers below.

Looking at our summer season, at least as defined meteorologically from June 1 to August 30, there was an abrupt change. The wettest June on record (at Baltimore’s BWI) put us well ahead of the mark on the year. It is tough to draw conclusions just purely based on the numbers, because a lot of that rain did run off or has since evaporated in the hot sun. But stats are stats. And as it goes, June was almost 10 inches above average. July was more than a half inch shy, and August fell almost an inch short of normal expectations for rain.

BWIRainfall2015AugFor the year, we are 8.16″ above average. Believe it or not, last year was actually wetter to this point.

As of Sept 2

2015 = 36.24″

2014 = 38.41″

Average to date: 28.08″

But your gardens might be dry, even as the corn is growing high. Hay seems to be rejoicing and maybe some local farmer can bale my crispy yard? But we are not in a drought. At least according to NOAA. Not by a long shot.  The pattern of heat will break over the weekend, but no significant rain is in sight. However, odds usually stack in our favor. So when the weather tends to run warmer and dryer, the balance can quickly flip to cool and wet, and we could get more of that before the end of this month.


With all due respect to California, discussing dry weather is relative. Here is the comparison across the nation and clearly the western third of the US is hurting. Something a building El Nino this winter could put a dent into.



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