Drought for Us, Wet for Others

Justin Thompson-Gee
Updated: 08/14/2014 5:43 PM
Created: 08/14/2014 5:42 PM

You don’t need me to tell you that the past month has been fairly dry. Driving around you can see brown patches on lawns, sprinklers going in the gardens, and irrigation systems being used on farmland. Since the beginning of June we have only seen 2.49” of rain which is about 4” below average.

Most of that shortage has occurred during the second half of July and August. Since August began, only one day has been wet, August 4th, when scattered thunderstorms moved through the area.

Until this week, the absence of water hasn’t been felt because of a very wet start to 2014, but thanks to this latest dry trend abnormally dry drought conditions have crept into our area.

All of this is happening in Minnesota & Iowa while major cities like Detroit, Baltimore & Long Island are getting hammered by flooding and record rains. Picture below courtesy of twitter user @WeatherGoneWild

So, why are some of us seeing no rain while others are getting dumped on? Well, the simple answer is it has to do with the jet stream. For the second half of the summer the jet stream has stayed fairly zonal meaning no major dips or ridges causing storms to slowly move across the United States. This slow movement has resulted in two different outcomes. 1. Storms slowly moving over a city dumping water and causing flooding 2. Storms slowly moving and fizzling out because they are more susceptible to sudden changes in the atmosphere like dry air, weak energy, temperature, wind, etc.

With the movement of the jet stream in mind, most of our rain chances the past month have been scattered, causing some to stay dry and others wet (consistently frustrating meteorologists). Over the next 7 days a few of those scattered rain chances are moving our way once again. The first arrives Friday & Saturday with rain possible for some.

Latest forecast for Sunday is trying to squeeze out some light rain showers, but at the time of writing this blog, Monday night into Tuesday looks like our best chance for rain for everyone. Stay tuned for changes, because this summer they have been common.

Justin Thompson-Gee
Storm Tracker 6 Meteorologist