Not enough rain to end drought in southeast Wisconsin

MILWAUKEE — What’s it going to take to get out of this drought? How much rain would we need to make up the deficit? Weather experts made an unsettling prediction.

Friday’s thunderstorms, were a welcoming sight to see, but they only lasted about 20-45 minutes at most..definitely not enough to put a dent in the drought.

Jeffrey Craven , with  the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said, “We would have to get a series of thunderstorm situations  where we would have persistent stalled fronts producing day after day of thunderstorms. It does not look likely.”

Craven  went on to say the main issue, is the state is already in a deficit that stems back to last winter, “Most of the areas run 4-8 inches below normal. Starting from January 1st until now we didn’t have as much snow this winter. Generally when you have less snow in the winter, there is less melting snow to moisten the soil. On top of that we had 4-8 inches less rain.”

The science operations officer said typically, we average about 3 inches of rain a month, now we need that amount and more. “It would probably take 12-16 inches over a three month period to get us back to normal and out of the drought conditions,” added Craven. He says that doesn’t seem likely.

According to the radar, Saturday looks like the best chance to get some rain, but next week’s forecast could possibly make the situation even worse. Craven added, “We’re going to go back to a hot a dry pattern. So even if we do get a decent amount of rain, it can actually make it more uncomfortable as we get into the hot weather. The moisture evaporates from the ground and increases the humidity and will actually make it more uncomfortable than if it hadn’t rained.”

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