A Growing Rainfall Deficit
By Russell Russ
June was a dry month. In fact, it was tied with 1984 as Norfolk’s seventh driest June over the last 85 years. Last year’s June, in contrast, was the fifth wettest June on record and was the wettest month in 2015. This year, the June rainfall amount is so far our least for any month of 2016.
June began cooler than normal. An unusual span of numerous breezy and windy days made it feel even colder than it really was. After mid-month, the winds died down and temperatures became more normal. The lack of significant rainfall lasted the entire month.
June’s low temperature of 42 degrees was observed on June 11 and the high of 86 degrees was observed on June 19 and 26. With an average monthly temperature of 64.9 degrees, it was 1.6 degrees above normal. The high of 86 on June 19 tied the 1957 daily high temperature record for that date.
The total precipitation recorded for the month was 1.59 inches, 3.31 inches below normal. There were just two thunderstorms observed this month, but as it has been all spring and summer, nothing on the severe side. The driest June was in 1988 when only 0.74 inch was recorded. Our wettest June was in 2013 when 13.38 inches were recorded.
For the first half of 2016, January through June, our total precipitation amount was 18.30 inches. This left us with a precipitation deficit of 7.28 inches. By early June a moderate drought advisory was issued for most of the state. We certainly need the rain, but it’s hard to malign beautiful, sunny weather in the summertime.
Last year May was very dry and June was very wet. This year June was very dry, so will that mean that July will be very wet? We had already exceeded June’s rainfall amount by mid-July, but we still have a long way to go.