After a very wet and soggy summer for many areas, things are now drying up fast as we head toward the official start of Fall. Chances are you've probably noticed the fact that we need a decent rain.
Yards are turning brown and what was once muddy is now dusty. The outlook for significant moisture doesn't look good, either - at least for another week or so.
In Roanoke, the last day with rain was on September 1 when the airport picked up .33". Roanoke is now 1.15" below normal for the month, and each day without rain another .13" is added to the deficit.
For the year, Roanoke is still above normal, however, by 4.49".
East of Roanoke, in Lynchburg, the situation is worse. Lynchburg has gone 23 days without significant rainfall (more than a trace). For the month of September, Lynchburg is now 1.44" below normal.
As of last Thursday, eastern Halifax and Charlotte Counties into eastern Virginia were listed as "abnormally dry" on the U.S. drought monitor. Look for that to expand by the next update on Thursday of this week.
NOAA's 6-10 day outlook from last week has Virginia in a 40-50% probability of higher than normal precipitation, however I don't see our rain chances really increasing until MAYBE September 20.
We're in a pattern than favors only weak cold fronts dropping in from the north every 3-4 days with very little rain ahead of them. Most of the jet stream energy is riding well to our north because of a broad upper level ridge that's keeping our temperatures at or above normal this month. That same ridge has blocked any moisture from the south from getting into the region.
Another cold (weak cool) front will move through the area Thursday with a few showers or storms possible, mainly in the New River Valley. But significant rainfall that would help most of the area is not likely. The image I've posted from tropicaltidbits.com shows just a few light showers on the GFS model as of this writing. Behind the front, more dry air will likely keep us parched into the weekend.
There are signs that the weather pattern may shift east enough for more moisture and rain with the next big weather maker around September 20-21.
But until then, the dry areas will likely only become drier for at least another week.
- Meteorologist Jamey Singleton