Rain forecast

A wet end to April is forecast for much of the eastern half of the country. This graphic shows precipitation forecasts from April 25 through May 2. (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration / April 25, 2014)

A stalled rainy system is forecast to make for a wet and cool end to April, likely a third consecutive month with more than 4 inches of precipitation here.

As much as 2-3 inches of rain could fall across Maryland over the next week, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration models.

Rainfall so far this month is already above normal at 3.35 inches. Even before the rainy week ahead, showers and storms forecast Friday night could bring Baltimore's monthly total above 4 inches.

That could make for one of the region's rainiest stretches in a few years.

About 4 and a half inches of liquid precipitation (both in the form of rain and the liquid equivalent of any snowfall) was measured in February and March. Baltimore hasn't seen three consecutive months with at least 4 inches of precipitation since July, August and September of 2010. (Nearly two feet of rain fell in two months, in August and September of 2011, since then, though.)

Since October, all but two months have seen above-average rainfall here.

A trend of cooler-than-normal weather could meanwhile continue, too. National Weather Service forecasters say cold air trapped over the region could meanwhile keep high temperatures in the 50s for much of next week.

Through Thursday, average temperatures were slightly below normal so far this month in Baltimore. That would make for a fourth consecutive cooler-than-normal month here.

According to a tweet from WBAL-TV meteorologist Tom Tasselmyer, it has been since 1970 that any year started with such a pattern.