ITHACA, N.Y. — First, let us preface this by saying we love dry, sunny weather. It makes it easier to plan barbecues, hikes and pool parties.

That being said, Ithaca and Tompkins County could use some rain.

According to the Twitter feed of the National Weather Service forecasting office in Binghamton, the vast majority of upstate is running well below normal when it comes to precipitation. Apart from a few locales who managed to get walloped by a thunderstorm or two, most of the Northeast has been drier than your worst high school teacher. Parts of Western Tompkins County are running as little as 10 to 25 percent of normal precipitation since late May.

What this means is that we’re starting to fall way behind on our annual precipitation total. Year-to-date, we’re at 12.29″ as of this morning, almost 4.5″ below normal. In fact, we’re in range of besting 1985 when it come to bone-dryness. However, if it’s any consolation, we’re running right around normal this year temperature-wise, just a couple tenths of a degree above the long-term average.

For those of you taking bets, the normal rainfall from June 27th to July 27th is 3.67″. If we get less than 0.26″ in the next month, it will be a new record low for the year-to-date.

We might start making a little progress in our rainwater deficit this week, as high pressure moves east and thunderstorms build up ahead of a cold front. However, the expectation is that these will be widely scattered, with no more than a tenth of an inch (if anything) in most areas. Beyond that, the chance for some pop-up showers and thunderstorms will persist into Tuesday, and after a couple of clear, comfy days, the threat might come up again this Friday into Saturday, but these will be scattered events that will speckle the region as we head into July.

For your forecast, Monday and Tuesday are likely to be partly cloudy outside of the pop-up showers and storms, and on the muggy side, topping out in the upper 70s to low 80s F. Some of the thunderstorms that develop Tuesday could produce strong winds, especially if the atmospheric conditions get a chance to build up instability during the day, providing more energy to the storm cells as they develop.

Wednesday and Thursday will be very pleasant, less humid, dry and sunny, with highs in the upper 70s and low 80s F. Friday, some pop-up showers ahead of another cold front, and a little more humidity, with a high in the low to mid 80s. Mid-range outlooks indicate a generally dry, sunny, seasonable weekend to start your July.

Brian Crandall

Brian Crandall reports on housing and development for the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached at