With quiet weather continuing, how are our rainfall stats?

finger lakes weather forecast july 25 2019 sunny rain weekend weather warm temperatures summer
Rainfall will be limited to stray pop up showers through the weekend. How is the recent dry weather impacting the region after the wet Spring? [Photo by Meteorologist Drew Montreuil]

Staying Mostly Dry

The weather is just about perfect across the Finger Lakes for getting outside and enjoying Summer in our beautiful region. As nice as it is, though, rain is also a necessary fact of life.

For the next several days, however, rain will continue to be scarce with only a few scattered pop up showers. Like the last few days, these showers will not produce significant amounts of rain, even if it comes down hard for a few minutes. Most areas will also miss out on any rain showers.

The chances for showers Thursday and Friday look to be even smaller than they were the last couple days. One or two stray showers may still pop up, but they will the exception to the rule.

Expect plenty of sunshine, a few patches of early morning fog, and mid and late day fair weather clouds.

Temperatures will continue to creep upward. Highs Thursday will range from 75-80 degrees. Friday will have upper 70s and low 80s. Saturday will be between 80-85 degrees with a few places getting even warmer.

Sunday and Monday will be the hottest days of this stretch, with highs 85-90 degrees on Sunday and in the upper 80s and low 90s Monday.

Rain chances will continue to be minimal until a front moves through on Tuesday with showers and possibly thunderstorms.

Overall Rain Picture

During a wet Spring, the lack of dry weather ranged from a depressing inconvenience for some to a serious issue for farmers trying to plant crops and make hay. Now, our pattern has flipped, and rainfall is scarce.

Over the last 30 days, the overall pattern has been for below normal precipitation on the order of 50-90% of normal.

As is often the case in the summer, individual heavy thunderstorms can produce localized areas of significantly different precipitation. As a result, pockets of the region are near or even above normal for rainfall over the last 30 days.

This dry stretch has, according to the raw numbers, neutralized most of the wet Spring. Looking at the last 180 days, or roughly six-months, the much of the region is within 10%, above or below, of normal.

30-Day Precipitation vs Normal

new york state 30 day precipitation departure july 25 2019
Areas in yellow or orange shading have seen below normal precipitation over the last 30 days. A few parts of the Finger Lakes have seen above normal precipitation (green, blue) due to locally heavy thunderstorms. Click to enlarge.

180-Day Precipitation vs Normal

new york state 180 day precipitation departure july 25 2019
Much of the Finger Lakes is within 10% of normal for precipitation over the last 180 days, meaning the recent dry weather has statistically balanced out the wet spring. [Click to enlarge.]

Both maps above were generated at https://water.weather.gov/precip/.

Has the dry weather equalized our weather back towards an equilibrium, or are we simply swinging from too wet to too dry? That is a question that cannot be fully answered until we see how the next few months unfold, but in the short term, we do not appear to be at risk for drought.

The calculated soil moisture, from the Climate Prediction Center, still shows our region ranking in the 90th percentile. That means our soil now is wetter than it is in 90 percent of other late Julys.

national soil moisture finger lakes soil moisture july 23 2019
Modeled soil moisture over the Finger Lakes shows our ground wetter than in 90% of other years despite the recent dry weather. [Click to enlarge]
The above map was taken from the Climate Prediction Center: https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/Soilmst_Monitoring/US/Soilmst/Soilmst.shtml#

Looking at statistics and modeled soil moisture is one thing but getting the “ground truth” is always an important step to verifying the data.

Leave me a comment below on how your gardens and crops are doing, how the weather is impacting your routines and operations, and what your own statistics show! There is always more to the picture than a few computer-generated maps can show.

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Follow Meteorologist Drew Montreuil:
Meteorologist Drew Montreuil has been forecasting the weather in the Finger Lakes region since 2006 and has degrees in meteorology from SUNY Oswego (B.S. with Honors) and Cornell (M.S.). Drew and his wife have four young boys. When not working or playing with the boys, he is probably out for a run through the countryside.

2 Responses

  1. Tom Brady

    Garden is doing well.

    We have a drip irrigation system now in place for 3 large raised beds.

    The impetus for the drip irrigation is last year’s dry conditions.
    Thus far we’ve only had to use the system a few times.
    Luckily we’ve been the recipients of enough pop up showers to keep the system use at bay. The ground crops are doing well also.

    Location is in the Egypt valley which is just east of Honeoye lake.

    • Meteorologist Drew Montreuil

      Thanks for commenting, Tom! Glad to hear things are going well!