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John Wheeler, WDAY, Published October 15 2013

Weather Talk: ’13 has joined rare years with 30 inches of precip

Our recent run of rainstorms assures us of a 30-inch precipitation (rain and melted snow) total for the calendar year of 2013.

With records dating back to 1881, there have been just nine other 30-inch years. Four of those nine have been in the past 15 years (2008, 2005, 2000, and 1998). There was one in 1977, and then a gap of 72 years back to 1905 in which no calendar year had 30 inches. The other two years were 1901 and 1882.

What makes 2013 remarkable as the tenth 30-inch year is that two of the three summer months were exceptionally dry. Short-term drought conditions developed during July and August, which, on average, are the second- and third-rainiest months of the year. But the rain that did not fall in July and August has fallen during May, June, September and October.

For agriculture, this has been a terrible year. First it was too wet to plant. Then it was dry during crop maturity. Now it is too wet to harvest.

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