It's been quite a wet start to the month of July, and as we begin to forget what the sun even looks like, many are wondering how long is this going to last and exactly how rare is it, or how about what's even causing all the rain to begin with?

SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- It's been quite a wet start to the month of July, and as we begin to forget what the sun even looks like, many are wondering how long is this going to last and exactly how rare is it, or how about what's even causing all the rain to begin with?

Western Mass News teamed up with Torry Gaucher from the National Weather Service in Boston to explain.

There are lots of mixed feelings about all this rainfall, but those we spoke to on Tuesday loved it.

"I love the rain.  I think it's like really cozy," Chicopee resident Julia Harte said.

"What's not to love about the rain?" western Mass. visitor Colin Buckley asked.

Gaucher said the following factors have kept us firmly parked in an unsettled weather pattern for weeks.

"We've had this subtropical high sitting off to our southeast that's been pumping in all that heat and moisture over the past several weeks, and just to the north we've had this polar jet that's been kind of clipping down into the northeast. You kind of mix a little bit of those two together plus the amount of energy that's been passing on through some of these short waves that's been helping to produce these showers," Gaucher explained.

The drought out west is also playing a role.

"That ridge over the northwest that's keeping things pretty hot and baking over there so, that's not allowing for zonal flow so, that's not allowing for zonal flow to travel across the United States, so we're stuck in this rut," Gaucher said.

As of July 12, Boston has experienced its third rainiest July on record. Westfield currently ranks number four, and just across the border in Hartford, they are sitting at number six. In terms of how often this happens, "It's only occurred about six or seven times since 1905," Gaucher said.

That's about a five to six percent chance, but we did have an outlier this year, Tropical Storm Elsa.

"It really only takes that one storm to kind of push us over the edge, and that's a good thing to remember as we go later and deeper into the hurricane season," Gaucher said.

Speaking of that, it's equally as rare. It's been 15 years since a tropical storm made landfall in New England.

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