Summer Rain by Matt Ferguson
This summer will likely go into the record books as one of the hottest on record. Remember Roanoke tied 1993 for the hottest July on record. Blacksburg had the second hottest temperatures for July, Danville the 14th hottest and Lynchburg the 16th. While it's been a very hot summer, we've also seen very high humidity and luckily scattered thunderstorms. Keep in mind, many summers that are scorching hot occur during an extreme drought, but this year is an exception.
So how are rainfall totals stacking up so far for 2011?
Precipitation remains below average for most locations, but considering the amount of high heat we've dealt with, we are not that bad off. Blacksburg is doing the best! As I write the official weather station at the airport has received 28.32 inches of rainfall. That gives them a surplus for the year of 0.80 of an inch. Now the rest of the region needs more rain! Currently Roanoke needs over 2 inches of rain to get back to average, Lynchburg over 4.5 inches and Danville is almost at a 6 inch deficit.
The latest Drought Monitor from NOAA scales our region is ABNORMALLY DRY, which fortunately ranks lowest on the scale of five categories. The fifth being EXCEPTIONAL DROUGHT, which right now is only showing up across Central Georgia.
While we need rainfall, so far this year we are doing alright considering how sizzling hot July was for our state. Usually late summer and fall are drier times for us, so an upcoming rainy season to wipe out our rainfall deficits does not look likely. However, this time of year we always are keeping an eye on the tropics. Any dissipating tropical storm or hurricane that moves inland could easily drop a large amount of rain on our area. But as always with that comes the possibility of high winds or tornadoes and widespread flooding.
We'll keep tracking the storms and you keep watching and hopefully we'll see the right amount of rain to get everyone back to normal levels!