We’re in the midst of one of the longest dry periods of the season, and it’s not going to end any time soon.
That seems perhaps a little bit odd to say, since we saw measurable rainfall only yesterday. But Sunday’s rainfall was light — amounting to just over a tenth of an inch officially in Oneida — and it could very well be the only rainfall received this week. There will be a small chance of rain accompanying a cold front in the middle of the week, but it won’t amount to much.
We’ve been abnormally wet this summer, of course. We saw above-average rainfall in June and July, and then we experienced a very wet month of August, with a total of 8.95 inches of rainfall, thanks to a pair of tropical depressions that impacted the region. That makes August 2021 the wettest August on record in Oneida, just beating out 1985.
But now we’re finally in a dry period, with day after day of sunny skies in the forecast.
A cold front will swing through on Wednesday, which is expected to knock high temperatures back into the upper 70s — and low temperatures back into the lower 50s — for a few days. We could see some showers accompanying the frontal boundary, but they won’t amount to much. The National Weather Service forecast has only a 30% chance of rain for Wednesday evening.
We’ll experience another taste of fall late this week, as an area of high pressure builds in and delivers a northwest flow to the region, before atmospheric ridging moves east from the Rocky Mountains and brings back the heat and humidity next weekend.
When that happens, we’ll see rain chances bounce back a little bit, and the GFS model is actually delivering a chance of light rain Sunday morning. But there’s not much support for that solution; as a result, the NWS forecast is calling for a continuation of sunny skies on Sunday. And if we get through Monday and Tuesday of next week without seeing scattered showers, we may see the dry period last through at least much of next week.
All in all, it’s going to be the longest period without substantial rainfall that we’ve seen all summer.
The setting up of a dry pattern isn’t exactly surprising, of course. We’re entering the dry season. September-November is the driest three months of the year in Oneida, by far (with September being the wettest of the three months, slightly ahead of November). And, unlike 2016 at this same time of year, we are in no immediate danger of drought conditions developing. The entire state, and most of the U.S. east of the Mississippi River, is in good condition as far as soil moisture and water tables are concerned.
The bottom line: After a record wet month of August, we’re finally drying out. We’ll enjoy a prolonged dry spell with beautiful weather that will be made even better by a taste of fall with highs in the upper 70s and lows in the lower 50s to end this week. We may see a few scattered showers with the cold front late in the day on Wednesday, but for the most part the forecast consists of lots of sun and tolerable temperatures for days on end, as we begin what will be the longest dry spell we’ve seen in months.