After an active spring and start to summer, conditions have begun to dry out too much for the Mid-state. So far this month, Harrisburg has only seen 0.16″ of rain, which makes it our 13th driest July to date. This is just one year after the wettest start ever to a July with over 5″ of rain through July 11th of 2021. The dry start this July has been common for much of the commonwealth, with below normal rain observed for almost all areas north of Route 30.
Clusters of showers and storms have led to a rainfall surplus over southern parts of Franklin, Adams, York, and Lancaster counties where rainfall approaches 2″ above normal closer to the Maryland state line. This trend continues south of our region with Washington DC reporting 4.74″ of rain so far this month, their fourth wettest start to a July. By contrast, you don’t have to travel far north in PA to see dry fields and crunchy lawns.
Scattered showers and storms are anticipated this afternoon as a cold front approaches, but this will likely be our best chance for rain all week as dry weather should dominate through at least the start of the weekend. This means unless a heavy cluster of storms sets up shop over us today, drought conditions will likely worsen this week. There are signs toward a possible wetter setup early next week as tap into some tropical moisture feeding up the coast. That would certainly help with the rainfall deficit.
The drier than normal conditions have certainly not been limited to Pennsylvania. Much of New England is experiencing moderate drought conditions with no major signs of improvement anytime soon. The worst drought conditions remain across the western and central US where several large regions of extreme to even exceptional drought have developed.
For our area, Harrisburg is now around 1.5″ of rain below normal for the month. For the year, we remain in a 1″ surplus.
-Meteorologist Adis Juklo