Clouds, sprinkles, showers and storms are welcome
They're calling it "unsettled" weather out in Sterling. It's a complex set of low-pressure systems in eastern Canada and the Great Lakes, and an approaching cold front, which is forecast to stall across the forecast area and return as a warm front next week.
It all adds up to plenty of clouds for Central Maryland through the weekend, with periods of sprinkles, showers and thunderstorms.
Daytime temperatures will struggle to reach 80 degrees today, but they will begin to creep higher tomorrow and Saturday, settling in the upper 80s through the weekend to near 90 degrees by the middle of next week.
Whatever rain falls will be welcome. We can use the moisture. The weekly Drought Monitor report released this morning shows "abnormally dry" conditions have continued to spread north into Central Maryland since last week, to southern Baltimore, Carroll and Harford counties. They now encompass 63 percent of the state.
Dry conditions are worst on the Lower Eastern Shore, with everything south of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge now in "moderate" drought. Extreme Southern Maryland - including the lower half of St. Mary's County and the southern tip of Calvert - is also now in moderate drought. In all, the drought conditions cover 25 percent of Maryland's territory.
The latest Weather & Crops Report from the USDA quotes a Delaware report saying: "Some storms came through with some maintenance rain to keep the corn alive and the beans coming up, but a lot more is needed." A Maryland report said: "The hot, dry weather has been tough on crops but good for hay making."
Topsoil moisture is reported "short" or "very short" in 52 percent of the state. Subsoil moisture is "short" or "very short" in 35 percent.
Rainfall for the year in Salisbury is 7.75 inches below the long-term average.