Typical Spring…..So Far

Spring officially got underway last week and so far the weather has been typical.  In just a few days time afternoon high temperatures have ranged from the upper 40s into the mid 60s and morning lows have ranged from the mid 20s to near 40. Winds have gusted to nearly 50 mph. We have seen both rain showers and snow showers but most of that activity was on the light side.

Speaking of rain and snow, March precipitation is running a little below normal with only 2.97 inches recorded through Sunday, March 23. That is a defecit of .65 inches. So far this year 9.46 inches has been recorded at BWI-Marshall Airport, a deficit of 1.87 inches. There has been no measurable snow this month and that leaves the area 2.3 inches below the 30 year average.

Keep in mind that the area wound up considerably short of precipitation in 2007 and the small defecit this year keeps us behind the eightball in the long term. This is evident if you have driven by any of the area reservoirs. The National Weather Service has come out with its’ “Spring Drought Outlook”. The Baltimore region sits right at the northern tip of the extensive drought area that has plagued the southeastern U.S.

droughtoutlook_small.jpg

While we are not experiencing any drought related problems at this time, if rain totals fall too far short of seasonal averages over the next few months, problems could crop up by the end of summer or early fall. As was proven last year, the hurricane season is no guarantee that the remnants of any storms will compensate for a shortage of the usual summertime rainfall. For a look at the complete drought outlook, check out the following web site:

http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2008/20080320_springoutlook.html

It appears that typically unsettled weather conditions will continue as April approaches. Anything can happen this time of year. For examble, Baltimore’s record snow fell on March 29, 1942 with a total of 22 inches. For at least the next week it appears as though a storm of those proportions is not in the books.

 John Collins

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