Dreary weekend did little to cut rain deficit

March 26, 2012|By Scott Dance

Despite the clouds, chill and dampness over most of the weekend, the official rain tally came just under three quarters of an inch for Saturday and Sunday. Forecasters had been calling for as much as 2 inches each day.

Observers around the region saw similar totals, as reported by CoCoRaHS, a network of amateur precipitation watchers. Parts of Baltimore, Carroll and Harford counties saw up to three quarters of an inch, with about half as much in Howard and Anne Arundel, as shown in the map above.

The rain total for March is about 1.7 inches, as measured at BWI Airport, with six days to go in the month. "Normal" for the month, as averaged dating back to 1871, is 3.9 inches in Baltimore.

That's not helping plug a rain deficit for the year to date of about 2 1/2 inches below normal rainfall levels of 9 inches. That is concerning some water-level watchers like Wendy McPherson, a hydrologist with theU.S. Geological Surveyin Baltimore.

USGS wells show the water table to be within normal levels around central Maryland. But the winter months are when the groundwater levels recharge to support plant and animal life through the spring and summer, McPherson told me recently.

Of course, a good rainy spell can easily wipe a way a rain deficit. It's happened before, and it could certainly happen again after what has already been a year of weather extremes.

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