Why So Rainy?

June 16, 2015: Today was nice, mostly due to the lack of rain! This was the first day in the last 6 that we are completely dry. 3 of the last 6 have also featured flash flood warnings in the Stateline because of the intense rainfall at times.

temperature and wind chillRockford is now at 2.62″ of rain for the month, which is right on average for June. 2.29″ of that came within the last 5 days, which is why everything is so soaked.  In some areas of the Stateline, 4 times the normal amount of rain for a week fell during this rainy stretch!

So, why so rainy lately? We’ve had a pretty good setup for that hefty amounts of rain.  There’s a lot going on on this map, so bear with me:

RAINY SETUP3 main factors have lined up repeatedly for heavy rainfall:

1) First, plenty of moisture. The days lately have been very humid, with dewpoint temperatures in the 70’s! This means showers and storms have a lot of water that they can suck up and drop over our area. Stronger winds in the lower part of the atmosphere has been keep the very moist air flowing into the area.

2) Next, the jet stream is positioned perfectly to bring us a lot of chances for rain. Disturbances in the jet help spark up showers, and direct them right into the Stateline, since the jet is set up directly over us.

3) Finally, we’ve had a series of warm and cold fronts criss-cross the area. These boundaries are great for creating showers and storms.  The problem is that they aren’t moving fast at all, allowing them to sit and pour over the same spot.

The combo of all three of these factors is like taking a garden hose and pointing it at one spot on the ground.  Eventually, the ground can’t hold any more water, creating a large puddle because the stream of water won’t stop.

Looking forward into next week, while the jet stream looks to stay in place, we should more pushes of dry air out of the north, which should help keep the humidity a little lower and leave less fuel for heavy rain. Rain will continue to be on and off in the forecast, but at least the heavy rain risk will be lower.

-Alex

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Posted under flooding, rain, weather

This post was written by Alex Kirchner on June 16, 2015

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