CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - After receiving 6 to 10 inches of rain over most of the WBTV viewing area during the cool and cloudy month of April, the weather pattern took a 180° turn at the start of May.
When it's all said and done, May will end well above normal in the temperature department – by about 6°F - and likely well below normal in the rain department.
Thus far, there have been only three days this month where Charlotte's high has been lower than 80 degrees, and several days have managed to climb very near 90, with even a handful above that critical number.
What's made matters worse, on top the never-ending warm days, the rain that was ever-present in April came to a screeching halt just before May's start.
While a few fortunate backyard gardens have benefited from an occasional passing downpour, most have not received much - if any rain - in more than four weeks. As of Tuesday, there's been no measurable precipitation since April 25th at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, the location where official weather records are gathered for the Queen City. Most of our area is down two to three inches of rain this month after getting relentless soakings earlier in the spring.
Finally, it appears as if the locked-in pattern of the past month is starting to show signs of breaking down, if only a little bit. States to our west, such as Texas and Oklahoma, where record rainfall of 15 to 20 inches has fallen, would love to send some our way, and it now appears as if the ever-present high pressure system that's effectively blocked the rain from moving east will give up some ground.
Scattered showers and thunderstorms are in the forecast through Thursday, as the high drifts a little east offshore. By Friday and the weekend, however, it is expected to reassert itself along the Carolina coast, meaning the rain bands moving up from the Gulf of Mexico will likely push back west of the mountains again, watering lawns and gardens in Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky and not so much around here.
The longer range outlook going into June (see map) does suggest a return to a more normal, balanced rainfall for much of the Southeast, including the Carolinas (although South Carolina would appear to have a slightly better chance of being in a more active wet weather pattern extending well back to the north and west across much of the nation).
A typical June brings about four inches of rain to the Charlotte area, most of it coming in the form of showers and thunderstorms. It's always nice to get under one to cool off, but often times they can be scattered about the region, with some neighborhoods getting soaking downpours and others completely missing out.
That's summer in these parts!