It’s been a dry spring, so dry that even the handful of rain showers and downpours we’ve had in the past few days can’t wash away the dust and pollen that have been coating cars, kitchen tables and throats in recent weeks.
Farmers and landscapers are lugging hoses and irrigation equipment and turning on the water full blast at a time of year when it’s usually not needed so often. Lilacs and bridal wreath lost their blooms quickly this year — viburnum is lush right now but may fade just as quickly without more rain.
Records from the National Weather Service Cooperative Station in Edgartown confirm that this has been one of the driest springs in many years. Rainfall for May was 1.49 inches, well below the monthly average of 3.54 inches. It was also the sixth driest May on record since the station was begun in 1946.
April was also dry with a total of 1.94 inches.
Arnie Fischer of Flat Point Farm in West Tisbury told the Gazette last week that he can’t recall a drier season. “It was dry in the fall. Two dry seasons is not good,” Mr. Fischer said.
Meteorologists at the National Weather Service in Taunton also confirmed last week that due to certain weather patterns this spring, southeastern New England has missed out on much of the rainfall that has fallen on the rest of the state. A weather phenomenon known as the Omega Block happens when weather systems moving in from the west run into a large high-pressure system that shifts the weather far northward. The region under the block traditionally receives dry weather with light winds. The name comes from the weather trajectory resembling the Greek letter Omega.
Will June bring more rain to our offshore region?
It’s hard to know, but right now the hay is coming in bright green and crisp, allergy sufferers are covering their faces and we’re mostly keeping the windows closed against the cool, dusty spring air.