What La Niña has done to us

December 5, 2007 at 3:52 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I’m sure you remember the deluges of rain, severe storms and flooding that seemed unending, from the first of this year up until late summer. We were setting records for rainfall, and it was the wettest year ever until the end of September.

A lot of that heavy rain was due to El Niño, a periodic shift in global weather patterns, that typically brings more frequent storms through California and into Texas. That means heavier rainfall than normal for north Texas.

But the El Niño pattern came to an abrupt end by August. And during the fall, we have seen the opposite pattern developing: La Niña. During La Niña periods, the storm tracks go farther north, moving through the Pacific Northwest and across the northern states. The state of Washington was particularly hard hit the last few days, with some tremendous flooding, reminiscent of what we saw last spring. But here in Texas, the storms pass us to the north. So La Niña results in much drier conditions here in north Texas.

So it doesn’t look like this will turn out to be our wettest year, after all. But because of the very rainy start to the year, it appears that we will finish with 2007 being our fifth wettest year on record. Here is the list of our five wettest years ever:

1991 53.54″
1932 51.03″
1973 50.62″
1957 50.49″
2007 47.72″ through December 4th

David Finfrock
Chief Meteorologist

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