RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – We ended the month of June with a stagnant pattern (high pressure to our east, low pressure to our west, pumping in moisture from our south), where southerly flow reinforced tropical moisture transport into Virginia, allowing for local heavy downpours. Here’s what that pattern looks like as of Monday morning:
June was a wet month for Richmond at six-and-a-half inches of rain measured at Richmond International Airport, resulting in a surplus of more than two-and-a-half inches of rain.
This puts June 2013 as our NEW tenth wettest June on record at Richmond International Airport, just edging out 1961 for the tenth place spot.
Repeated rounds of local heavy downpours resulted in some parts of Virginia receiving much more June rain than Richmond. This map shows the June departure-from-normal rainfall in our region. The blue and purple shades received three to even near eight inches more than an average June rainfall!
One of those areas you can see is upstream of the James River in Richmond, which has kept our river level running commonly above five feet. That means life vests are required by law anytime the river is running at or higher than five feet at the Westham gauge. CLICK HERE to check the latest Richmond river level and forecast.
Across the country, the U.S. is experiencing two extremes from the West to the East. In the West, record heat and drought are contributing to wildfire danger and heat-related illness. The latest U.S. Drought Monitor paints that extreme picture.
Then compare that with the June rainfall picture across the U.S., and you’ll see that there has been very little to even no rainfall in parts of the drought-ravaged West, whereas the East has received, in some cases, too much rainfall.
As Virginia begins the month of July, we have a Flash Flood Watch in effect until early Tuesday morning.
Repeated rounds of heavy rain in June have made the ground saturated. Any heavy downpours we get over the next 24 hours could lead to local flash flooding.
Looking into the next three months, the Climate Prediction Center expects the hotter-than-average heat to persist in the West (likely exacerbating the drought and wildfire threat there).
The Southeast U.S. will likely continue its wet trend, too this Summer.
Here’s more on the drought outlook from the Climate Prediction Center:
Stay with CBS 6, we’ll keep you ahead of the storm.