Despite threatening skies almost every day for the last week, last month fell 0.17 inches short of becoming the wettest June on record. The 10.10 inches of rain that did fall made it the second rainiest June, and the 23rd wettest of all months, since measurements began in 1869. In the temperature department, June was 1.2 degrees warmer than normal, nowhere near a record, and today will be the ninth straight day where the temperature has not dropped below 70 degrees.

This morning's rude downpour has already blessed July with nearly an inch of rain. More rain, some of it heavy, is on tap for the remainder of today, tomorrow and probably Wednesday as the jet stream is stuck in a giant looping pattern, with a giant ridge out west and a big trough over the Midwest. The ridge is bringing unbelievable heat, including a record-tying 128 degrees in Death Valley yesterday, to the southwest, while the trough is positioned just right to bring both humid, tropical air and instability to the East Coast. Until that pattern breaks down we can expect showers and occasional thunderstorms, with highs in the 80-85 degree range. We might luck out with a slightly lower chance of rain by Independence Day, but don't hold your breath. On the other hand, the lower chance of rain means the Bermuda High is moving westward, bringing with it some hot and sticky weather for the weekend.

This past week, while enjoying the constant rain and washed out roads of northern Vermont I went to an art gallery to look for a woodcut print by Elfriede Abbe. Her pieces appeal to me because she gets the clouds right. It turns out she died last year and the gallery has no more prints.

Reading her obituary I realized why she rendered clouds so accurately; her father and grandfather were both well-known meteorologists. In fact, her grandfather, Cleveland Abbe, a graduate of the Free Academy of New York (now CCNY), was the first person to take advantage of the telegraph system to gather weather observations from all over and issue a regular daily weather forecast, more or less founded the government agency that is the forerunner of today's National Weather Service, and was the founding editor of the Monthly Weather Review, the leading journal of meteorology. No wonder his granddaughter got the clouds right.