By Justin Worland
July 6, 2015

Early summer typically marks the start of the dry season across much of the United States. But that’s far from the case across vast swaths of the country this year, a new map from the National Weather Service shows.

Areas in red experienced considerably less precipitation in the last 30 days than average. Blue and purple regions experienced up to six times the average. Red regions received a small fraction of the typical rainfall.
Courtesy of the National Weather Service

The map compares data collected over the past 30 days from local weather centers with local averages from the same days collected over the past 30 years. Purple and blue regions received at least 1.5 times the average rainfall in the last 30 days — and the map shows large parts of the Northeast and Southwest much wetter than average.

But other regions received very little rain, like drought-stricken California and Washington, which sweated through a heatwave in late June. Very few regions received an average level of rainfall.

Dan Petersen, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service, described the trend as “unusual.” “It’s just been striking—instead of just being part of a season, we’ve had multiple seasons of this trend,” he said.

 

Write to Justin Worland at justin.worland@time.com.

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