Most of the country, from the Continental Divide eastward, has received more rain than normal. And some parts of the Mid-Atlantic are 20 inches wetter than usual this summer.

Meanwhile, areas west of the Rockies are below average, about 10 inches shy of normal in parts of southwest Colorado and western Montana. The lack of rain in California helped fuel the Carr Fire near Redding and the Mendocino Complex fires near Clear Lake. The Mendocino Complex was the largest fire in California history, scorching about 410,000 acres.

In the east, steady and sometimes severe rain

Summer started more dry, but by the middle of July, waves of rain drenched the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. Locations such as Williamsport, in central Pennsylvania, and Baltimore experienced record rainfall and flooding.

A high-pressure system parked itself over the Northeast for much of the summer. The clockwise motion pulled warm, wet air from the Atlantic over the Mid-Atlantic and East Coast.

At the same time record heat waves and persistent drought conditions have hit places in the far north of the country, such as Burlington, Vt.

MAINE

Burlington

N.H.

VT.

Boston

NEW YORK

MASS.

Williamsport

—R.I.

CONN.

New York

Harrisburg

PENN.

N.J.

Baltimore

MD.

D.C.

DEL.

Richmond

Norfolk

VIRGINIA

Raleigh

NORTH CAROLINA

Fayetteville

Charlotte

Wilmington

SOUTH

CAROLINA

Recorded precipitation

Burlington

20

inches

10

0

JUN

JUL

AUG

SEP

Williamsport

30

20

10

0

Baltimore

50

40

30

20

10

0

Wilmington

60

50

40

30

20

10

0

Recorded precipitation

MAINE

Burlington

Burlington

20

inches

N.H.

Boston

VT.

10

MASS.

NEW YORK

—R.I.

0

CONN.

Buffalo

JUN

JUL

AUG

SEP

New York

Williamsport

Harrisburg

Williamsport

N.J.

PENN.

30

Baltimore

MD.

Pittsburgh

20

DEL.

D.C.

10

0

Baltimore

W. VA.

Richmond

50

Norfolk

VIRGINIA

40

30

20

10

Raleigh

0

NORTH CAROLINA

Fayetteville

Wilmington

60

Charlotte

Asheville

Wilmington

50

40

30

20

SOUTH CAROLINA

10

0

Then Hurricane Florence hit North Carolina’s coast as a Category 1 storm on Sept. 14. Once over land, the storm stalled and dumped an enormous amount of rain over the state, sending seasonal precipitation totals to historic levels.

Out west, dry conditions persist

The opposite side of the country was a different story. Areas in the Pacific Northwest are experiencing drought conditions. The dry weather out west has been so bad that normally soggy Seattle has had less rain than Washington, D.C.

Seattle

WASHINGTON

Portland

IDAHO

OREGON

Boise

Recorded precipitation

Seattle

10

inches

8

6

4

2

0

JUN

JUL

AUG

SEP

Recorded precipitation

Seattle

10

inches

8

Seattle

6

WASHINGTON

4

Portland

Helena

2

MONT.

0

JUN

JUL

AUG

SEP

IDAHO

OREGON

Boise

Meteorologists predict that the last quarter of the year will be slightly wetter than normal in the southeast, while being slightly drier than normal in the Ohio valley. The northern Rockies are also predicted to be drier than normal, which could further exacerbate the current dry conditions.

Joe Fox contributed to this report.

About this story

Data for cumulative and normal precipitation is from the National Weather Service. Rain data on maps from National Weather Service Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service (AHPS). Wildfire information from CAL FIRE.

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