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John Wheeler, WDAY, Published May 22 2013

Weather Talk: Season’s first rainfall arrived in a big way

At first glance, our weather has gone through several remarkable changes the past few months: from flood to drought and back to flood again. But upon closer examination, the changes, though newsworthy, were perhaps less extreme in reality.

To begin with, the spring snowmelt flood was truly impressive given the drought conditions that had prevailed in the fall. But the flood itself failed to live up to the forecast because the weather turned kinder in the end.

Then things got dry, dust began to blow and several big wildfires signaled drought. But the weather had really only been dry for a few weeks this spring, not long enough to be a real drought. We just needed to get that first rain, which came last weekend in a big way.

Such a rainfall – from 2 to 4 inches over the entire region with local amounts up to 8 inches – is uncommon and only happened because a storm stalled exactly over our area for four days. The spring flood and the dry weather that followed were not unusual. That rain last weekend was.

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