Rainfall Update By Steve MacLaughlin

September 19, 2007 at 5:00 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A year ago, we were just beginning to see signs in the long range weather patterns that our 18-month-long drought may finally be winding down. We were optimistic, yet cautious knowing that it would take several big rain storms over several seasons; consistent weekly events and the dreaded massive flooding to turn things around. As we end September of 2007, we got all of those things and the numbers are astounding.

We should note that some surrounding areas have seen much more, some much less. But the following data focuses on the immediate Dallas/Fort Worth area and most recently the numbers from DFW.

So far this year, we have seen 42.96″ of rain at DFW Aiport. Normally, between January 1st and September 19th, we should see 24.33″. We have nearly doubled that amount. In fact, a normal year from start to finish should only receive 34.73″ which we easily blew away months ago.

September is not one of the wetter average months, but we have seen an impressive 4.99″ of rain, most of that coming on Monday, September 10th when a record 3.9″ fell at DFW. If we do some simple math, we can extrapolate how much rain we would get if we kept up at this rate. We’ll estimate the total rainfall of 42.96″ thru September 30th which is exactly 3 quarters thru the entire year. So, 42.96″ divided by 3 is 14.32″ (the average rainfall for 3 months). Multiply this by 4 to figure out all 12 months and we get an amazing 57.28″.

57.28″ would be a record…By nearly 4 whole inches. The wettest year ever was 53.54″ set back in 1991. 2004 was the 5th wettest with 47.57″. Right now, the 42.96″ is the 19th wettest ever, but all we need in 2.17″ of rain to get into the top-ten all-time wettest years in North Texas.

Here are the average rainfall amounts for the rest of the year:
October 4.11″
November 2.57″
December 2.57″

3 month total: 9.25″

We are now at 42.96″ for the year. Adding another 9.25″ would yield a total of 52.21″. So if we get average rainfall the last three months, that would leave us in second place, about an inch and a quarter below our all-time record.

Some other leftover stats…The last 6 months have seen 36.43″ and the last 12 months 53.82″ of rain (which breaks the record of 53.54″ already…But we go from January to January, so we still have to wait to call this the wettest calendar year ever just in case it never rains again the rest of the year).

The wettest summer (June, July, August) ever was 2004. We saw 18.89″. This year comes in 5th place with 16.99″.

Okay, enough stats – Now let’s see how 2007 finishes up. For the record, the seasonal forecast:
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/multi_season/13_seasonal_outlooks/color/churchill.html
has North Texas with at or below normal precipitation thru the spring.

Happy Autumn (Sunday Morning),
Steve Mac

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