Any Omahan watching Tuesday evening's radar saw the same disappointing rerun that's been playing for more than a month: rainstorms fizzling out before they reach the city.
With barely an inch of rain since July 1, Omaha is mired in one of its 10 driest mid-summers on record, according to National Weather Service records.
Another round of storms is possible later this week, but even meteorologists are getting gun-shy.
"Here we go again – our next good chance of rain is Thursday night into Friday," said Dave Pearson, the senior hydrologist for the National Weather Service office that covers Omaha. "This is getting to be one of those summers where, until I see it a block from house, I'm not going to believe it."
Pearson said Tuesday evening's storms disintegrated because the atmosphere lacked the needed degree of instability. Some of that was due to the dampening effect of the earlier round of morning showers. Part of it was related to overall weather patterns that are steering the most intense rain across southern Kansas and Missouri. And other factors were at play, too, he said, while discounting any urban heat island effect.
The bottom line, he said, is that summer storms have a way of running out of gas.
"It's summer," he said. "I'm not saying that as an excuse, but you get storms to develop and then they run out of gas, for lack of a better term. The instability that we needed last night wasn't as firmly in place as we needed."
The forecast for rain did prove accurate in the sense that some rain, 0.37 inches, fell, he said. It just didn't rain enough.
"It's more of a quantity issue," he said.
Rainfall the first week of August, while inadequate, has been enough to outrank rains the entire month of July in Omaha.
The city emerged from last month with its second-driest July on record. However, more rain has fallen in the first week of August – 0.57 inches – than the entire month of July, 0.44 inches, according to the weather service. The current dry stretch now ranks ninth for this time of year, weather service records indicate.
According to the weather service, Omaha has a chance of rain Thursday night into Friday and again Sunday into early next week.
Pearson took a look at the records and came up with this list of 10 driest stretch of days in Omaha, from July 1 through Aug. 7:
• 2012 -- 0.46 inches of rain
• 1934 -- 0.54
• 1894 -- 0.61
• 1919 -- 0.74
• 1975 and 1886 -- 0.78
• 1974 and 1936 -- 0.92
• 2013 -- 1.01
• 1914 -- 1.25