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Several U.S. Cities Have Already Received a Year's Worth of Rain
Published: July 22, 2019
Wet conditions have plagued much of the Lower 48 in 2019 and now some cities have already received a year's worth of rain with more than five months left to go in the year.
The locations where precipitation in 2019 is now greater than the long-term average (1981-2010) for an entire year stretch from portions of the South into the northern Plains and even the interior Northwest. For clarity, precipitation is a combined measurement of both rain and melted snow.
Greenville, Mississippi, and Paducah, Kentucky, have seen more than 50 inches of precipitation through July 21, easily topping the annual average (Jan. 1 - Dec. 31) in both cities by 2.35 inches and 1.64 inches, respectively. Both cities are also more than 22 inches above the average precipitation they typically receive Jan. 1-July 21.
Precipitation totals are less in the upper Midwest and northern Plains since those regions have a drier climate than the South, but they are just as impressive when compared to average.
Rapid City, South Dakota, Rochester, Minnesota, and Sioux Falls, South Dakota, are the locations in those regions where precipitation this year has topped the annual average. With 35.37 inches, Rochester has seen nearly double its average precipitation for Jan. 1-July 21. That also ranks as the wettest Jan. 1-July 21 in more than 100 years of records in the southeast Minnesota city, according to the Southeast Regional Climate Center (SERCC).
In the West, Boise, Idaho, has seen its second-wettest Jan. 1-July 21 in 142 years of records with 12.11 inches of precipitation, according to SERCC. That tops the city's annual average precipitation total of 11.73 inches.
A few other cities are also close to surpassing their annual average precipitation. Tupelo, Mississippi, is 2.14 inches away from equaling its yearly average of 55.01 inches, and Tulsa, Oklahoma, is 3.45 inches away from its annual total of 40.97 inches.
All of the extremes follow a broader picture of the wet conditions in a large chunk of the country this year.
A climate report released by NOAA earlier this month said the Lower 48 states as a whole had their wettest first six months of a year dating to 1895. That was largely the result of 19 states having a top 10 wettest January-June, from Nevada to Vermont.
Record February snowfall, the March "bomb cyclone" in the Plains, heavy Plains flooding in May and, most recently, Hurricane Barry are just some of reasons it's been unusually wet this year.
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