Another dry month (so far) in Rochester

Weather Blog

ROCHESTER, NY (WROC) – The month of September in particular has been yet another dry month for us this year. For over a week now Rochester has been in another decent dry stretch with little to no rain being recorded over the past 9 days. The only rain we’ve seen within this stretch has been a trace and .03 inches, which is not a lot of rain at all… especially for a region in need of some plentiful drops.

So, why so dry?

There are a couple things we can attribute to our stretch of dry this month.

  1. An overall inactive weather pattern 
  2. Intrusions of wildfire smoke

For the past week or so our atmosphere more or less decided to take a short nap as it will do every so often. We’ve been dominated by a ridge pattern in the upper levels with a highly inactive jet stream on our side of the coin. When we’re under what’s known as a “ridge,” or area of high pressure, the air is more apt to sink and warm, which inhibits any lift or active weather. There haven’t been any fronts or boundaries around either, so our weather is much more calm with more sun and less precipitation overall.

We’ve also seen the very rare occurrence of having multiple days where our skies have been covered in a blanket of wildfire smoke. Not only does this help keep temperatures cooler, but the smoke only encourages our already dry air to stay that way.

All in all, it’s been a quiet month in terms of precipitation. Here’s where we’re at for the month:

For the month of September we’ve received a total of 0.66 inches of rain and running a deficit of -1.95 inches below normal. 

There only are 8 days total this month where we recorded measurable rain with the most rain we received in a day falling on September 13th with 0.24 inches of rain at the airport, and that isn’t even something to sneeze at. It’s safe to say at this point that well over half of the month has been spent in need of some decent rain.

Since January 1st we’ve had a total of 22.50 inches of rain, the normal value being 25.21″ this year to date. This leaves us -2.71″ below average in terms of rainfall for the whole year so far. For some reference, in 2019 we received 23.38 inches of rain up to this point.

As I briefly mentioned before, this isn’t the only dry spell we’ve seen this year. The period from May to mid July was actually even drier and can be seen in the image below.

Here’s what our year so far has looked like for us in Rochester for 2020:

Image courtesy:

We began our first significant rain deficit in May where we measured a total of 1.92″ and a deficit of -0.95″. We only kept things dry from there as we went into June and the first half of July. June totaled with 1.48″ and a deficit of -1.86″, and July ended up totaling above average when we received a large amount of rain with just a couple big rain events. Our dry stretch started back up again once we got into August where we totaled 2.7″ and a rain deficit of -0.77″ below normal.

Where’s the rain?

In the short term we’ve got slight chances for a shower in spots, but it’s not going to do anything significant in terms of any noteworthy relief. Although starting next week, our weather pattern will be taking a shift for the better not only in terms of rain, but we could also be seeing temperatures that match up to fall better than our summer-like trend into this weekend. It’s a treat both fall and rain lovers will enjoy.

Even with our current status on the drought monitor, most places in the region aren’t considered abnormally dry. The most notable amount of dry looks to be the southern edge of Yates county for the time being.

The updated drought index comes out tomorrow, and I do have a feeling there will be a lot more places considered abnormally dry on the map with the stretch we’ve been seeing all week long.

~Meteorologist Christine Gregory

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