|Record Breaking 2011 Precipitation in the Ohio Valley - A Graphical Summary
|No matter where you live
in the Ohio Valley, your daily observations of the frequent episodes of
heavy rainfall may have led you to believe that 2011 was one of the
wettest years in your memory. You wouldn't be wrong. |
What started back in Febraury
as a wet and snowy end to the 2010-2011 winter season, took off in earnest in the
record April rainfall.
A fairly active summer with frequent thunderstorm clusters
maintained the above normal rainfall for portions of the area. Autumn did its fair share, and in a virtual repeat to April,
the end of the year (
November through early December)
brought a new round of record setting storm systems.
told, 2011 will go down as the wettest year on record for
numerous locations centered on the Ohio River. In fact, precipitation
has been so extreme that the state
record for Ohio was unofficially broken for yearly precipitation at several sites in southwest Ohio.
these other National Weather Service websites for recent stories on the excessive rainfall in the Ohio Valley:
content below is a graphical trip through the year of monthly
and yearly precipitation anomalies for the Ohio Valley.
Imagery from the Midwest Regional Climate Center The following images (courtesy of the Midwest Regional Climate Center)
show how the wettest year on record has evolved. From a monthly
perspective, notice the similarities in the heavy rain footprint of the
two excessively wet months (April and November), centered on the Ohio
River. These two months were the most significant contributors to the
heavy rain footprint seen further below.
2011 Yearly Precipitation (% of Mean)
2011 Yearly Precipitation (Departure from normal)
2011 Yearly Precipitation (Inches)
Imagery from the National Weather ServiceA different way to look at the same data is via the Advanced Hydrologic
Prediction Service's precipitation estimate
website, which uses rain gauge adjustments to radar data to create a
highly detailed precipitation analysis over varying lengths of time.
Some interesting features really stand out, besides the Ohio
Valley rainfall maximum. Equally impressive and on the opposite end of
the spectrum is the extreme drought
over the far southern United States.
Normal Precipitation (inches)
2011 Precipitation Departure from Normal (inches)
2011 Precipitation Departure from Normal (%)
Cincinnati - Record SummaryWith 73.28 inches, Cincinnati
broke its yearly precipitation record (previously 57.58" in 1990). Cincinnati also broke
its all-time April record (13.52" - previous record 9.77" in 1998) and
its all-time November record (8.33" - previous record 7.51" in 1985).
In addition, Cincinnati's wettest 30-day, 60-day, and 90-day periods
have all been recorded in 2011. Cincinnati also experienced the wettest
meteorological spring on record (24.78" - previous record 22.98" in
1996) 18th wettest meteorological summer, and wettest meteorological
fall on record (19.86" - previous 16.95" in 1919). Also, Cincinnati has
recorded 19 calendar days when greater than 1" of precipitation has
fallen (previous record was 17 in 1879); the yearly average is 8.
Cincinnati has recorded 6 calendar days when greater than 2" of
precipitation has fallen (which ties the previous record of 6 in 1998).
also finished in first place for its wettest year on record (54.96" - previous record 53.16" in 1990). Columbus also broke
its all-time April record (7.14" - previous record 7.08" in 1893).
Columbus also experienced the 3rd wettest
meteorological spring (17.62" - record 19.22" in
1882), and 2nd wettest meteorological
fall on record (15.00" - previous 15.53" in 1881).
DaytonDayton finished in
second place for its wettest year on record (56.72" - record 59.75" in 1990). Dayton had
its second wettest April of all-time (8.72" - record 9.20" in 1996) and
its 6th wettest November. Dayton also experienced the 3rd wettest
meteorological spring on record (18.95" - record 21.06" in
1989), and wettest meteorological
fall on record (19.65" - previous 15.35" in 1925).
Seth Binau, Science and Operations Officer (email@example.com)