Scattered but persistent showers brought the parched Washington area its most substantial rainfall in more than a month yesterday with .75 inches recorded at National Airport by late in the day.

Don Marier, a National Weather service specialist, said the rainfall was the heaviest since April 24, when 1.23 inches were registered.

"It's going to take a fair amount of rain to relieve the drought, but last night's rain was a good start," said Dorothy Kropp, a weather service forecaster.

Kropp said most of the area received 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch of rain as an eastward moving front bringing widespread ran and thunderstorms moved into the area Wednesday night. Yesterday afternoon, most of the storm activity was concentrated around the District and eastward to Chesapeake Bay and the Delmarva peninsula, Kropp said.

Kropp said most of the primary agricultural areas in the area, such as those north of Frederick and on the peninsula, received substantial rain.

Yesterday's rain brought the official total for June so far to .97 inches, only .11 inches short of the normal accumulation for the first nine days of the month.

Only 9.69 inches of precipitation have been recorded so far this year, however, 6.33 inches below normal.

Yesterday's high temperature was 70 degrees, recorded at 1:40 p.m. Some strong wind gusts were reported in the afternoon. The strongest registered by the weather service was 30 knots (about 35 m.p.h.) at 3:24 p.m. Scattered but heavy showers slowed traffic briefly on some major roads, and hailstones the size of marbles fell in Rockville and some other suburban areas around 3 p.m.