There are a lot of activities that will benefit from sunny and dry weather over the next few months. We’ve certainly been in a very dry pattern, which is good if you have outdoor plans, but not so good if you are hoping to not use your outdoor water much. Very little rain is forecast here over the next week, though there will be some to the south of Maine.

Rainfall Forecast Through May 26th

Rainfall Forecast Through May 26th

I am always conflicted about these types of patterns. I love the sunshine, wonderfully dry and comfortable mornings, but there’s also this part of me that feels a bit of panic, thinking why won’t it rain more consistently?

It’s been a dry year

In spite of a cloudy, cool and damp start to this month, the current pattern continues to be dry. Check out the map below to see how much rain has fallen in the past 360 days. Notice the dry patches along the Maine coastline into southern New Hampshire and the metro Boston area. Also notice the very dry conditions across far northwestern Maine.  This area has seen two winters of less than impressive snowfall.

Rainfall past 360 days

Rainfall past 360 days

Summer pattern coming

From roughly early June until sometime this fall, it’s less likely we will see a full day of rain. Now obviously we have had rainy days every month of the year, but odds favor more showery types of precipitation in summer and early fall.

Averages are made up of extremes, and while it’s been dry across the Northeast this spring, the mid-Atlantic region has been very wet. The Washington-Baltimore area has had only a few days of sunshine since the latter part of April. For Dulles Airport, for example, there have been only two days since April 26 without any rain falling, quite a miserable stretch.

So what about those proms, weddings, graduations, outdoor parties and the like that are going to take place the rest of this month and into June? Will it rain? I can’t give you a specific forecast for the next six weeks, but I can tell you the overall pattern looks dry.

According to the National Weather Service, New England has the greatest likelihood of experiencing drier than average weather through the end of May. This bodes well for outdoor plans, unless the one or two days of rain we do see occur on the weekends.

8-14 day outlook through the end of May

8-14 day outlook through the end of May

If you are wondering about heat and humidity, that may be coming sooner rather than later. The map below, which is a forecast of temperatures next week, clearly shows a strong temperature contrast between New England and the mid-Atlantic region. If you have lived in this part of the country even for just a couple of years you likely have noticed we often transition from cool spring weather to hot and humid weather very quickly. This is because the divide between those two air masses often resides precariously close and a small shift in the jet stream brings the heat north.

May 26th Canadian Model Temperature Forecast

May 26th Canadian Model Temperature Forecast

Next week I’ll be watching those models to see if those summertime temperatures are destined to arrive for Memorial Day weekend or if cooler marine air will win out. The battle will no doubt be played out close by, so stay tuned.

You can follow Dave Epstein on Twitter @growingwisdom