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Weekly Rain Accumulation

A little bit of rain expected today, and a lot more rain on Wednesday through Friday morning. MIght add an additional inch of rain to the monthly total. Not a drought for sure this month.

This interactive graph shows how much rain is expected to accumulate over the next five days. Gray bars represent clouds, with no new accumulation, yellow bars represent sun, which will start to dry things out.

Major Dry Spells (PDF)

Meteorologists say that Albany's climate is getting wetter. One effect of the wetter climate in Albany is that major dry spells are becoming less common in the Albany-area. Indeed between 1995 and 2015, there was not a single period of 14 days without some sort of precipitation. That is the longest recorded period without a dry period in Albany. We did have a dry periods during the spring 2015 and the winter of 2016, but both just barely over the definition (14 days and 15 days).

Heating Degree Days, Average vs. 2007-2017

The months of January and February have been somewhat below normal for the number of Heating Degree Days this year. That said, this frigid month of March may mean that we get closer to the climate normals for Albany as the year progresses.

Data Source: Monthly Heating Degree Days, NYSERDA.

Difference Between Record High and Normal High

Last Friday the mercury pushed up to 74 degrees, the warmest temperature ever recorded during meteorological winter in Albany. With normal high temperatures for that day around 37 degrees, that day was 37 degrees above normal. I remarked on Friday that if we had days that were 37 degrees above normal in the hottest period of summer, we would have reached 120 degrees. But it almost never reaches above 100 degrees in Albany -- at least not since the 1950s.

The reason is we have hot days in summer, but there isn't that kind of energy in the atmosphere to push record breaking heat more then 10-15 degrees above normal in summer. In contrast, in the winter, it's not unusual to have days 15-25 degrees above normal, and days that are 25-40 degrees above normal are not unheard of during the winter. The greatest difference in record high minus normal high occurred on January 13, 2007, when it reached 71 degrees on a day when the normal high is 30 degrees. That's a 41 degree difference.

The formula used to calculate this chart is highest recorded temperature minus average high temperature for the day, based on records collected at the Albany International Airport by NOAA.