After weeks of nearly nonstop dry conditions, it rained overnight Sunday, but not nearly enough to be more than the proverbial drop in the bucket.
For the third straight month, the Niagara Frontier has experienced below average rainfall that has left local lawns more brown than green and fields more scorched than lush. According to Aaron Reynolds, a National Weather Service meteorologist at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport in Cheektowaga, a small amount of rain last fell on Wednesday, but it was only a 100th of an inch of rain, which did not do much to relieve the longstanding dry conditions the region has experienced since spring. Two days earlier, .41 inches of rain fell in some spots.
“The bigger story is the fact that, even though we’ve had some rain throughout the month, we’re still running a deficit,” Reynolds said.
The total amount of precipitation, so far, for June is only 1.3 inches, which is a deficit of 2.2 inches from the average for the month. Normal rainfall for June would be about 3.23 inches, Reynolds said.
In addition to the below-average rainfall in June, May and April saw only 1.2 inches and 1.90 inches of rain, respectively. For May, that was a deficit of 2.25 inches and for April a deficit of 1.11 inches.
“So, if you see the trend there, that’s three months of deficits ... That’s why the grass is brown and a lot of fields are dry,” Reynolds said.
While the entire region has been unusually dry, some areas of Western New York have received more precipitation than others, he added.
“This morning, there were places in Elma that received well over an inch. Points to the east have received more precipitation than points further to the west,” said Reynolds, who added that Orleans and Niagara counties have been especially dry.
A little more rain might come into the picture Friday, but not nearly enough to reverse the dry conditions that have developed until now. Reynolds said a chance of showers or thunderstorms is forecast for Friday, but there is expectation of a significant rain event on the immediate horizon after that.
Sunday night’s rainfall, mixed with high temperatures in the 80s, have created a sultry, humid atmosphere for Monday.
“Part of it is that we’ve had a warm, moist and humid air mass that has moved across the area,” Reynolds said.
“We’re going to cool off a little bit, but not Monday. Starting on Tuesday, it’ll become a little more dry and cooler. As we head towards the weekend, we’ll heat up,” he added.
Monday’s high temperature is expected to reach into the upper 80s, while the high for Tuesday is forecast to dip into the low to mid 70s.