After setting a top 10 rainfall record in July, DC’s soggy summer continues

WASHINGTON — Sunny skies are what most of us hope for during the summer, but this year proves you can’t always get what you want.

“Average rainfall for July here in D.C. is just about 3 34 of an inch. We had 9 inches,” said Storm Team 4 meteorologist Lauryn Ricketts, who cited numbers at Reagan National Airport.

In fact, last month was the seventh-wettest July on record in D.C., and the trend is continuing so far this month. Just over 3 inches of rain fell in the city between Aug. 1 and 16, surpassing the average for the entire month, which is just under 3 inches.

What’s going on?

We seem to be stuck in a repeating pattern, Ricketts said.

“We get frontal systems that are sweeping through the area, [and] they stall to the south,” she said. “We’ve got an area of low pressure persistent over the Great Lakes.”

That sends disturbances toward the D.C. area. “Eventually, that stalled frontal system … moves back north as a warm front, brings moisture with it and then we get another cold front to knock everything out,” Ricketts said.

“So we have multiday rain events that bring a lot of moisture and drop a lot of rain on us, and it’s happened time and time again,” she said.

And sure enough, rain is back in the forecast for Thursday and Friday this week.

“The Climate Prediction Center says for the next six to 10 days, we will be a little on the wet side, but then … in September, it looks like we’ll start to dry out this pattern a little bit,” Ricketts said.

Michelle Basch

Michelle Basch is a reporter turned morning anchor at WTOP News.

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