Has 2019 been wetter than 2018? The answer may not be what you expect

Weather

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!
The last two weeks have certainly been soggy. We have received 4.61″ of rainfall between May 24th, 2019 through June 6th, 2019. That is the official rainfall number at the National Weather Service climate reporting station for the Valley at the Youngstown/Warren regional airport in Vienna, Ohio.

To put that into perspective, that is more than the average rainfall the airport receives for any given month. On average, the wettest month of the year is July with an average of 4.31″ of rain. That means the last two weeks have been 0.30″ wetter than our wettest month on average.

Other parts of the Valley have certainly seen higher rainfall totals the last two weeks but those numbers are not recorded since there isn’t an official climate reporting site in every town/county in our area. Some notable totals include a report we received of around 3.5″ in Greenville, PA on June 5th or nearly 5″ of rain reported in Canfield, OH on May 28th.

SO…2019 MUST BE WETTER THAN 2018, RIGHT?
The answer to whether or not this year has been wetter than last year depends on how you look at it. Let’s start with rainfall to date 2019 vs. 2018. 

As of June 6th, 2019 the total rainfall received at the airport in Vienna is 20.80″. That is 5.24″ above normal for the year so far.

Compared to 2018, we have actually received less rainfall than we received between January 1st, 2018 through June 6th, 2018.  On this day last year, total rainfall received at the airport in Vienna was 23.08″. That means we were 7.52″ above normal for rainfall as of June 6th, 2018.

So, by the numbers alone, 2018 was actually wetter than 2019 at this point in the year.

BUT…IF YOU LOOK AT DAYS WITH RAIN, THE STORY CHANGES
It certainly seems like we have had a lot more rain in 2019 and the reason is likely the number of days we have seen rain. For this part of the data, I looked at the period between April 1st through today, June 6th. I choose April 1st as the starting point because that is typically the time of year we begin to see more rain events instead of snow events. 

Between April 1st, 2019 through June 6th, 2019 we have had measurable rain (a trace of rain or higher) reported 52 of the last 67 days at the airport in Vienna. This means of the last 67 days, 77% of them have been wet compared to only 23% dry days.

If you look at the same timeframe in 2018, we had measurable rain 46 of the 67 days between April 1st, 2018 to June 6th, 2018. That means 68% of the days were wet and 32% were dry.

SO…HAS 2019 BEEN WETTER THAN 2018? YES AND NO.
So, depending on how you look at it, the answer is yes or no. If you’re looking at just year to date rainfall, we had received 2.28″ more rain by this time in 2018 compared to 2019.

But, if you look at number of days that had measurable rain, we had more “rainy” days in 2019 compared to 2018 for the period of April 1st through June 6th.

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