What a difference a year makes when it comes to rain across eastern Carolina. The moderate to extreme drought of last year has turned into abundant rainfall for most communities during the past couple of months. Rainfall for the summer is near or above normal for much of our area. In fact, showers seem to be almost a daily occurrence in many areas. Agricultural interests have benefited from the rainfall while gardens and lawns have been soaking up the bountiful rainfall. The threat for showers remains in the forecast but they should be more widely scattered than we've seen lately.
What is interesting to me is that wet summers in our area usually go hand-in-hand with cooler temperatures. It seems to be a bit different this year. Temperatures have been averaging about 2 to 3 degrees above normal and there is little change expected over the next week. We've been getting most of our showers during the late afternoon or evening. The lack of cloud cover during the day has helped the sun push temperatures to very high levels during June and July.
An element that may have a more profound impact on our weather pattern for the fall and winter is El Nino. El Nino, an area of warmer than normal water in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, appears to be slowly developing. Should it develop, it would mean a much different winter than last year. El Nino favors wetter and cooler conditions in our area. I'll give a sneak peak at my winter forecast later next month.