Rain is a good thing, it replenishes the soil and ground water. It has benefits to us, plants and animals. However, too much rain can create flooding, and that is something that many areas in the Valley and in parts of West Virginia have dealt with this spring and especially this summer.
Rainfall is up drastically compared to last year (pictured on the right). In fact last year, according to the US Drought Monitor, most of the year we were in the "Abnormally Dry" category for our area and there were several times we did fall into a moderate drought.
Here is a snapshot from last summer, compared to this summer. The entire state of Virginia is under no drought or dry conditions at all. In fact, most of the east coast is like this.
Compared to last year, you can see Page county is under a moderate drought while the rest of the area is classified as dry.
Even as recent as January, much of the Valley was in a moderate drought, especially from Rockingham county south.
By the end of June, halfway through the year we were at 17.33" of rain which is very close to the year to date normal of where we should be, at 17.52" by the end of June.
As we finish July we have seen some incredible rainfall amounts and now we are in a yearly surplus.
In Harrisonburg, we are nearly double our July monthly normal total for rain.
Most of that came in a single line of storms on July 11th.
Several showers and storms moved through the area that night, but some heavy rain sat over some area creating some incredible rainfall totals.
In fact, it was a record breaking night in Harrisonburg with heavy rain.
Downtown Harrisonburg picked up over 5" of rain in a matter of hours.
The city of Harrisonburg set two new records that night, a new 24 hour rainfall total record and a new 1 hour rainfall total record.
There were several areas flooded especially west of Harrisonburg, and also towards Shenandoah.
Although there is quite the difference in rainfall totals for the month of July through the area.
So far for the year, we are in a surplus of 4.69" in Harrisonburg. The last few years in fact we've been in a precipitation surplus by the year's end, even though at times there have been extremely dry conditions.
Most of this is due to thunderstorms, they don't always encompass a large area. As we head into the fall, conditions can get a bit dry especially is we don't see any remnant tropical activity.