Dry Times: A Detailed Look at Precipitation in First Half of 2022

Lead Forecaster Daniel Crawley

Hope everyone is having a great weekend. Next week is the final week of June and that means we are wrapping up the end of the first half of 2022.

You have probably noticed that its been dry lately. And quite honestly that isn’t totally surprising given that we are going into the heart of summer. The jet stream retreats north and any precipitation usually falls on a scattered coverage at best.

June has been a dry month for the Western North Carolina Foothills and Western Piedmont. All of the local COOP stations in the eight county coverage area is running a deficit. A few spots are reaching monthly deficits of over two inches. The Blue Ridge Escarpment which this time of the year can be the focus of storm activity has not seen as much due to 500 mb ridging overhead or just to the west pushing the steering currents out of the northwest.

Precipitation Departure (Month to Date)

As we extend the precipitation departures out to the past 90 days you can see once again the Western Piedmont has been quite dry and it only get a little bit better along the Blue Ridge Escarpment. The bulk of the 90-Day surplus (green shading) for the Blue Ridge centers around the significant rain event in late May where an upper low formed and produced abundant moisture over a span of multiple days. That specifically included a hybrid-tropical feature (not recognized by NHC) that spun up in the Gulf of Mexico and moved northeast toward the Southern Appalachians.

90 Day Precipitation Departures

And then finally a look at rainfall departures for 2022 up to this point. The region looks to be pretty close to normal by looking at the map but a lot of this precipitation was front-end loaded. The winter months were fairly close to normal, the May rains in the mountains but there have been some lengthy dry streaks as well.

2022 Rainfall Statistics

Hickory Regional Apt:

June: 1.03 (3.71)

YTD: 23.64 (22.75)


June: 0.77 (4.07)

YTD: 24.89 (24.44)


June: 1.51 (3.65)

YTD: 22.80 (24.08)


June: 1.90 (4.68)

YTD: 28.17 (27.55)


June: 0.48 (4.05)

YTD: 22.87 (24.80)


June: 0.99 (3.80)

YTD: 20.13 (24.72)

Forest City:

June: 1.21 (4.19)

YTD: 23.63 (25.02)

Summer precipitation is hard to keep up with in terms of maintaining averages without getting some help from the tropics or from a prolonged southeast fetch. So far we have seen neither of that in June. The graphic below in a precipitation anomaly for the next 15 Days across the US, courtesy of the European Ensemble. There are still no signs of a wet pattern coming up. Unfortunately this will not assist in the building drought across the region.

15-Day Precipitation Anomalies; Euro ENS

2 thoughts on “Dry Times: A Detailed Look at Precipitation in First Half of 2022

  1. Excellent summary. Good information. This is the kind of analysis you rarely get from the mainstream media.

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