Drought Watch: When is our best chance of some much needed Rainfall?

The latest 360 day Precipitation Analysis from the National Weather Service paints a dismal picture across the South, Mid-Atlantic and parts of New England:

  • What stands out is the unbelievable amounts of precipitation (100 to 220″) across the Sierra, west coast and Cascades of the Pacific northwest

From March 30 2016 through today, the immediate Washington Area has picked up well below the average of 40.78 inches 

In fact, over the past 90 days (December 25th through today) the District of Columbia has only received 6.8 inches of precipitation:

Looking ahead through the end of March (this coming Friday) while we have a chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms, our best chance of steady, widespread soaking rainfall may not arrive until next weekend into the first several days of April if a coastal storm forms:

  • Latest Global Ensemble Forecast System (showing potential precipitation amounts in inches through Friday March 31st):

Image below shows the latest European Ensemble showing the potential for an area of low pressure to form along the Mid-Atlantic coastline (next Saturday, April 1st):

Now through the end of March:

  • Very little in the way of appreciable rainfall (that is a widespread 1″ or more) across the Washington Metropolitan Area

European Ensemble for the Washington Metropolitan Area showing potential precipitation amounts through Friday March 31st:

  • While some scattered showers and thunderstorms are likely through the period, the steadier rainfall looks to stay west of our region through at least Friday.

Latest Operational European through Friday evening (this is not the ensemble, but just shows the latest operational run without tweaking done):

Latest Probability of receiving greater than or equal to one inch of rain through Friday March 31st (image, WxBell showing US GEFS model):

  • Drought relief can be seen across northern parts of the Deep South, the southern Plains, northern Mid-Atlantic (PA, NJ, NY) and New England

Next 9 days (image showing latest Meteogram or graphical view of temperatures and precipitation amounts at National Airport):

  • At the bottom of the graph you can see a color bar labeled “Total Precip” through Tuesday April 4th
  • The best chance for widespread soaking rain would be if the coastal storm is able to materialize next weekend.
  • The trees are getting ready to bloom and the spring foliage (or what’s left of it) is going to be in dire need of soaking rain
  • Pollen will only get worse if the dry conditions continue.
  • Bottom Line: We need rain badly (and about 8 to 10″ of it to get out of this drought)



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