Wet hot American summer: July 2018 is 4th-rainiest on record in DC area

A mammatus cloud lingers as storms pass out of the D.C. area Friday evening. (WTOP/Dave Dildine)
A mammatus cloud lingers as storms pass out of the D.C. area Friday, July 27. (WTOP/Dave Dildine) (WTOP/Dave Dildine)
What the sky over Arlington, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., looked like on Friday, July 27, 2018. (WTOP/Dave Dildine)
What the sky over Arlington, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., looked like on Friday, July 27, 2018. (WTOP/Dave Dildine) (WTOP/Dave Dildine)
After the recent heavy rain, a worker in Ellicott City makes sure the culvert carrying the canal through downtown is clear of debris. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
After the recent heavy rain, a worker in Ellicott City makes sure the culvert carrying the canal through downtown is clear of debris. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein) (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
The point where the Ellicott City canal meets the Patapsco River. The river was the main flood threat to the historic district, but in recent flooding events, the flooding creeks running into Main Street caused the most devastating damage. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
The point where the Ellicott City canal meets the Patapsco River. The river was the main flood threat to the historic district, but in recent flooding events, the flooding creeks running into Main Street caused the most devastating damage. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein) (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
The downtown shopping district has a canal below some businesses and homes. After two major floods in two years, the past days of heavy rain have been unsettling for some residents and business owners. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
The downtown shopping district in Ellicott City has a canal below some businesses and homes. After two major floods in two years. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein) (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
Here's what Broad Branch Road in Rock Creek Park looked like on Wednesday, July 25, 2018. (WTOP/Dave Dildine)
Here’s what Broad Branch Road in Rock Creek Park looked like on Wednesday, July 25, 2018. (WTOP/Dave Dildine) (WTOP/Dave Dildine)
Here's what Broad Branch Road in Rock Creek Park looked like on Wednesday, July 25, 2018. (WTOP/Dave Dildine)
Here’s what Broad Branch Road in Rock Creek Park looked like on Wednesday, July 25, 2018. (WTOP/Dave Dildine) (WTOP/Dave Dildine)
Here's what Broad Branch Road in Rock Creek Park looked like on Wednesday, July 25, 2018. (WTOP/Dave Dildine)
Here’s what Broad Branch Road in Rock Creek Park looked like on Wednesday, July 25, 2018. (WTOP/Dave Dildine) (WTOP/Dave Dildine)
Here's what Broad Branch Road in Rock Creek Park looked like on Wednesday, July 25, 2018. (WTOP/Dave Dildine)
Here’s what Broad Branch Road in Rock Creek Park looked like on Wednesday, July 25, 2018. (WTOP/Dave Dildine) (WTOP/Dave Dildine)
Flooded Fairfax County, Virginia, road
Major flooding hits a road in Fairfax County July 24. (Courtesy Fairfax County police) (Courtesy Fairfax County police)
Rock Creek Parkway in D.C. closes to southbound traffic near Waterside Drive on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (WTOP/Dave Dildine)
Rock Creek Parkway in D.C. closes to southbound traffic near Waterside Drive on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (WTOP/Dave Dildine) (WTOP/Dave Dildine)
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A mammatus cloud lingers as storms pass out of the D.C. area Friday evening. (WTOP/Dave Dildine)
What the sky over Arlington, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., looked like on Friday, July 27, 2018. (WTOP/Dave Dildine)
After the recent heavy rain, a worker in Ellicott City makes sure the culvert carrying the canal through downtown is clear of debris. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
The point where the Ellicott City canal meets the Patapsco River. The river was the main flood threat to the historic district, but in recent flooding events, the flooding creeks running into Main Street caused the most devastating damage. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
The downtown shopping district has a canal below some businesses and homes. After two major floods in two years, the past days of heavy rain have been unsettling for some residents and business owners. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
Here's what Broad Branch Road in Rock Creek Park looked like on Wednesday, July 25, 2018. (WTOP/Dave Dildine)
Here's what Broad Branch Road in Rock Creek Park looked like on Wednesday, July 25, 2018. (WTOP/Dave Dildine)
Here's what Broad Branch Road in Rock Creek Park looked like on Wednesday, July 25, 2018. (WTOP/Dave Dildine)
Here's what Broad Branch Road in Rock Creek Park looked like on Wednesday, July 25, 2018. (WTOP/Dave Dildine)
Flooded Fairfax County, Virginia, road
Rock Creek Parkway in D.C. closes to southbound traffic near Waterside Drive on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (WTOP/Dave Dildine)

WASHINGTON — This July is fourth, but not in a way that has to do with Independence Day.

Dubious though the honor may be, July 2018 is the fourth-wettest July on record for the Washington area.

At regional airports, Reagan National has seen the least rain this July, with 9.7 inches. That trails only 1905, which saw 9.95 inches; 1886, which saw 10.63 inches, and 1945, which saw 11.06 inches.

It is, however, the wettest July that Dulles International Airport has ever seen: 11.04 inches.

And it is also the wettest July for BWI Marshall Airport, measuring in at 16.67 inches.

“What is most impressive is that all of this rain has fallen in only half a month,” Storm Team4 meteorologist Chuck Bell told WTOP.

“[Reagan National] had zero inches through from the 1st to the 16th of July.”

The upshot to all the storms is that they have kept temperatures lower.

“The rain has held 90-degree days in check,” Bell said. “Only one of the 12 days in the 90s this month has come during the rainy half of the month. By comparison, we had 20 days in the 90s last July, 23 the year before that.”

So how much water are we talking about here?

“D.C. is only 68 square miles in size — 9.7 inches of rain over that area equals over 11 billion gallons of water,” Bell said.

Current conditions

Forecast

Dry isn’t going to be part of the forecast this week.

“High rain chances are a big part of the forecast for today, especially this evening,” Bell said. “And then on through tomorrow, Thursday, Friday — rain chances continue each and every day into the weekend.”

“The clouds will keep afternoon highs in the low 80s today; a few peeks of sun tomorrow, mid- to upper 80s tomorrow afternoon. Mid- to upper 80s again for Thursday, Friday,” he said.

But don’t be fooled, Bell warned.

“Those rain chances remain very high each day all the way through the weekend,” he said.

  • Wednesday: Mostly cloudy to overcast, highs in the upper 80s, afternoon showers and thunderstorms
  • Thursday: Mostly cloudy to overcast, highs in the upper 80s, afternoon showers and thunderstorms
  • Friday: Mostly cloudy, highs in the mid-80s, afternoon showers and thunderstorms
  • Saturday: Mostly cloudy, highs in the mid- to upper 80s, afternoon rain chance
  • Sunday: Mostly cloudy, highs near 90, afternoon rain chance


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