Drought Conditions Developing in Northeastern United States

After a wet and snowy late winter and early spring in much of the northeastern United States, dry conditions have taken hold over the past couple of months.  Since May 1st, Portland, Maine has received just 4.23 inches of rainfall, compared to an average of 8.93 inches over that time period.  As a result, moderate drought conditions have been declared in Portland.  Moderate drought conditions also exist places such as Concord, New Hampshire and Brattleboro, Vermont.    

 Source: University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Source: University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Abnormally dry conditions are present across much of Upstate New York, northern Vermont and New Hampshire, western Maine, northern Connecticut, and western and central Massachusetts.  The latest drought forecast from the Climate Prediction Center has areas currently labeled Abnormally Dry progressing into official drought conditions by the end of July.

July Opens With Blistering Heat Wave in Eastern U.S. & Southeastern Canada

The calendar has flipped to July and Mother Nature welcomed in the new month with a sweltering heat wave across eastern North America.  As of this writing, numerous cities in the northeastern United States and southern Canada have reached 90 degrees Fahrenheit for four or even five days in a row.  When combined with dew point temperatures in excess of 70 degrees Fahrenheit, heat index temperatures have exceeded 105 and even 110 degrees in spots, with Chicago posting a heat index of 112 degrees on Sunday, July 1st.    Tragically, eight people have lost their lives as a result of the heat as of Tuesday, including six people just in Montreal.

 

 Source: NBC News

Source: NBC News

Temperatures are not expected to be quite as hot Wednesday and Thursday in most places as they were over the weekend, but will still have the potential to crack 90 degrees once again.  Humidity levels are expected to remain very high as well, with dew points remaining above 70 degrees.  A cold front is then forecast to move through eastern North America on Friday and finally bring relief from the heat and humidity for the upcoming weekend.

Flooding Strikes Parts of Texas Hit by Harvey

Between June 18th and June 21st, a nearly stationary tropical wave inundated southern Texas with extremely heavy rainfall.   During that three-day span, Rockport, Texas recorded 16.33 inches of rain, roughly five times its average rainfall for the entire month of June.  Corpus Christi finished not too far behind with 15.48 inches of rain, while Alice International Airport measured 11.52 inches of rainfall.  Numerous streets and homes were flooded in these areas, with 15 homes being flooded in Orange County, Texas alone, according to local emergency management officials. 

 

 Source: USA Today

Source: USA Today

The region of Texas that was hit by this round of flooding was also severely impacted by Hurricane Harvey last year.  While the heavy rain certainly disrupted recovery efforts from Harvey, the rainfall amounts seen with this event paled in comparison to those seen with Harvey, when up to four feet of rain fell over parts of southern Texas over the span of four days.

Tornadoes, Hail, and Heavy Rain Strike Colorado & Kansas

An area of low pressure near the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains caused a bout of severe weather across eastern Colorado and western Kansas on Tuesday.  Multiple tornadoes were reported in Colorado, including one that was photographed near Keenesburg, about 40 miles northeast of Denver.  Baseball sized hail fell across much of the area as well, enough to accumulate on the ground in some places.  A Lexus dealership in Firestone, Colorado reported that about 300 of its cars were damaged due to large hail.

 

 Source: AccuWeather

Source: AccuWeather

Farther east in Kansas, very heavy rain caused much of the trouble.  Scott City, Kansas measured over 5.5 inches of rain Tuesday, which is more than double the average rainfall for the entire month of June there.