If it seems like that promising thunderstorm on the horizon will defy the laws of physics to avoid where you live—depriving you of needed rain and soothing thunder—you’re not alone. Even though it seems like won’t stop raining in much of the eastern U.S., many areas are slipping into drought as we head into the middle of the summer.
We all need a good thunderstorm every once and a while. The deluge clears the air, washes away the dirt and pollen, waters the plants, and just makes you feel alive (well, it does for me, anyway). These storms can be few and far between at times, splitting off and dousing everyone else and leaving you high and dry. This convective snubbing gave rise to the joking idea that there’s a “bubble” over certain towns that prevents them from seeing any storm activity.
When you average out all of the precipitation that falls over a certain area over a longer period of time, it all comes out about even. Your town generally gets as much rain as the other town, give or take a few inches. In the long run, storms miss you and hit the other town just as often as they hit you and miss the other town.
That’s in the long run, though, and day after day of both storms and storm systems just barely scraping certain towns is starting to do a number on rainfall totals. Many of you reading this from places like Oklahoma or Texas or Washington D.C. are still trying to dry out your basements, I’m sure, but there are quite a few places east of the Rockies that are slipping deeper into drought conditions.
Aside from the ongoing water disaster occurring west of the Rockies, we’re seeing soil get too dry in many spots on this side of the continental divide. Abnormally dry conditions are now widespread across the southeastern United States, with the greatest lack of precipitation across southern Georgia and into Florida. Almost all of populated southeast Florida is in a severe drought, while many locations on either side of the Appalachians in North Carolina, Kentucky, and Tennessee are also experiencing a moderate drought. Even though they saw gobs of snow this winter, that snow didn’t amount to much water, and a large portion of New England is now abnormally dry or sliding into a moderate drought.
If you’re sick of the lack of precipitation, there’s some good news coming your way over the next week. The Weather Prediction Center’s latest precipitation forecast shows beneficial rain falling over the next week across many of the areas that need it the most. A series of surface lows and upper-level troughs will cycle through the center of the country in the coming days, affording much of the region the opportunity to see several inches of rain falling from the numerous showers and thunderstorms that develop and swing through.
Don’t worry too much if nearby thunderstorms keep teasing you with little more than a sprinkle and a distant rumble of thunder. As frustrating as it is—trust me, I know—you’ll have more chances for rain over the coming days and weeks. Hopefully it’ll be enough over a wide enough expanse of land to eradicate any hints of a drought before the dryness starts to cause major issues.