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Daryl Ritchison, Published July 22 2012

Weather Talk: One dry spell doesn’t mean end of long-term wet cycle

This summer has many parallels to 2006. You may recall that 2006 was also a warm, dry summer in the region.

That summer there were many comments about how the wet cycle must have finally ended and that drier years were ahead. That year I was asked frequently if I thought our string of wet years was over, and my response was: “Ask me in five years.” My reasoning was it would take at least that long before there would be any conclusive evidence that a different precipitation pattern had developed.

One dry spell does not necessarily mean the end of a long-term pattern. The year 2006 turned out to be just an aberration, as the following years were very wet once again, with devastating flooding in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

Six years later, it is dry again and the same question is being asked. My answer is still the same: “Ask me in five years.”

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