As you all know, the weather has been very comfortable with a big lack of humidity this summer. One of the byproducts of this pattern is that the ground is drying out easier than it would be if we had more moisture in the air. Think about how long it would take a towel to dry on a humid day as opposed to a dry day with a gentle breeze. Although some areas saw quite a bit of rain the past few weeks, others are still very dry. It hasn’t rained significantly since the big rain a week ago and we might be entering a very dry pattern, perhaps the driest of the summer.
By the way, the ground doesn’t necessarily store the water on the top soil as you might think. The 6 plus inches of rain Portland saw last week doesn’t mean we can go two months without rain, even thought that was 2 months work of rain in a few hours.
Of course trying to predict the amount rain that is going to fall over the next 10 days isn’t easy or necessarily has a high accuracy rate. If a storm came a bit closer than expect during the next week and a half my forecast of dry weather would be a bust. At this point, many of the models agree it’s going to be very dry up to Labor Day weekend. I am also seeing some signs of a bit of heat later this month.
This first map is the latest drought monitor. The next map comes out Thursday and will likely have a similar pattern. Notice the yellow area over extreme southern Maine south through much of Connecticut.
This is an area where rain hasn’t been as adequate as I would like. According to the National Weather Service, these areas are not abnormally dry, but at the level just prior to a moderate drought. As you know, north of York County we probably don’t need any rain right now and the upcoming dry period will be welcome.
When does it rain again?
Some of the model information I can get shows the total amount of rain forecast over a large period of time. Review the map below. In this case we see how much rain is forecast to fall through the 28th of August. These maps tell us nothing about what day the rain will fall, but it’s helpful for water management.
If you shut off your irrigation after the last rainstorm, it’s definitely time to turn it back on over the next few days. According to this particular forecast much of Maine might not see much if any rain as we close out August and head into Labor Day weekend.
The next 5 to 7 days looks quite typical for the second half of August or even slightly cooler than average. The map below shows a high temperature forecast for the Thursday before Labor Day weekend. What we see are temperatures above normal and even approaching 90 degrees just south of Maine, but remaining in the 70s in most of the state. Of course predicting highs this far out isn’t easy, but there has been a trend with the long-range forecasts bringing warmer air very close later in August and during the first week of September.
I’ve seen this trend now for about 3 weeks. Whether the warm air gets here on the 28th of August or the 1st of September is open to interpretation, but there will likely be a warm period around the time the kids head back to school.
You can follow my forecasts here and on Twitter @growingwisdom. Feel free to tweet me a question there.
The week ahead does look very nice, whether you are in northern or southern Maine on vacation or running around buying school supplies the weather should cooperate fully.