Good news this morning as the US drought monitor was released. If you look at the previous post from the last two weeks Page county has been the only area technically in a drought with all other areas in the Valley "abnormally dry."
This morning major improvements were reported.
The new drought monitor for Virginia shows Page county is no longer in a drought, and most of the far western portions of Shenandoah, Rockingham, and Augusta county are no longer considered as dry, as well as ALL of Highland county.
Still "abnormally dry" are the eastern portions of Shenandoah, Rockingham, Augusta, and all of Page county. It almost looks east of Interstate 81.
It's also important to mention that this monitor does NOT include Wednesday night's rain. Where many areas received an inch or more!
Here are some totals from Wednesday night:
That is some GREAT rain! Thunderstorms can be good and bad for soil moisture because any one thunderstorm can put down a fair amount of rain which can cause runoff. But thunderstorms are spotty, not everyone will tap into that rain.
As far as temperatures we had our share of hot days in July, but we had some slightly cooler days as well. 17 days were at or above 90 degrees. The record is 22 set back in 1966.
However, we did have the highest monthly mean temperature (the monthly average of the daily high and low) at 79.6 degrees.
Historically for the Valley August is typically our hottest month. We will also have to keep an eye on the tropics because much of the heavy rainfall during August and September have come from Hurricanes/Tropical Systems.
There have also been some historical correlations from our current weather pattern this year, to that of the 1950s. Sometimes weather history repeats itself, not always exactly, but this is in part how long range forecasts are made. Looking back to the 1950s it was a big year for East coast hurricane landfall so definitely something to keep in mind over the next two months as we enter the peak of hurricane season.