Putting Recent Wet Weather In Perspective

The area has enjoyed a couple of dry, pleasant days to start the work week. This is a welcome change…many yards, golf courses, etc. are still rather damp. Spring 2019 has been wetter than average, yes…but maybe not by as much as you would expect.

Since March 1, our area has had about 8″ of rain on average. This is about an inch or so wetter than “par” for March 1-May 7. The departure from average swells to about 1.25″ when you look at the last 60 days:

The spring has been much wetter to our west and a fair amount drier to our east.

The number of days with measurable precipitation (more than a trace) since March 1st: 36. 33 is the thirty year average so we have had 3 “extra” wet days this spring. Spring 2017 was quite a bit wetter:

Looking at the year-to-date numbers, again it’s been wet but we haven’t had it nearly as bad as the lower Ohio and Mississippi Valleys.

Crop moisture is excessively high in much of the middle of the country.

Unfortunately those same areas will get soaked at times over the next couple of days.

It’s no secret that it’s been quite wet around here over the last year or so. We are riding a streak of 8 consecutive wetter-than-average months and 14 of the last 16 months have been wetter than average! That’s quite a stat.

The number of days with measurable precipitation since September 1? The most on record for this time frame, tying 1997-1998. Notice the upward trend in recent years.

Take a look at the number of days with at least 1/2″ of rain during that same period of time:

Again, the trend is clear and there have been a number of “spikes” since the turn of the century.

Ok, that’s the past, what about the future? In the near term, an average of 0.50″-1.00″ of rain is likely Thursday through midday Friday.

The medium-range looks drier.

There is not a very strong signal for precipitation trends as we head into summer. That said, the Climate Prediction Center does favor wetter-than-average conditions for much of the country. Notice the forecast includes no locations, with the exception of the far Pacific Northwest, in which dry conditions are favored.


AM Weather Brief: Tuesday 5/7/19


While it won’t be as sunny as Monday was, a nice spring day will unfold today. A cool front is sliding in from the north although most of the showers are BEHIND the front and I expect the raindrops to stay to our north today.

Temperatures will be tricky today with the front sliding in. Areas north of I-80 will see temperatures largely in the 60s but southern areas can have readings that will be comparable to Monday’s balmy values.


A sluggish cold front will impact the area late Thursday into Friday. Ahead of it, a warm and even somewhat humid day Thursday. There could be a shower at anytime; thunder is most likely late in the day. The ingredients for severe weather are not likely to come together around here and the Storm Prediction Center does not have us in a risk category at this point.


A cool but dry start to the weekend seems likely. Showers will be possible Sunday. A cool weekend is on the way with temperatures at least a few degrees below-average each day.


30 years ago: On May 7, 1989 the day started with 0.3″ of snow. The high was just 47. Later that day, Michael Jordan hit “The Shot” and The Bulls eliminated the Cavs in the 1st round of the NBA Playoffs.


I am @ericwfmj on Instagram and Twitter. Search Meteorologist Eric Wilhelm on Facebook.

Follow our StormTracker 21 accounts as well! And of course download the free and fantastic StormTracker 21 app today.