What you (maybe) thought you knew about all this rain

ivan.jpeg**UPDATED Nov. 28 with November precipitation totals; see below.**

* * *

The last tears of a departing Hurricane Ida fell as light rain and drizzle in York County for the past few days — and it’s gone now, with clearing expected tomorrow and sun for all of next week — but it prompted us to remark on the weather in the paper the other day and give you a look at how much precipitation we’ve had in the past year.

But there’s more data out there than we published on newsprint.

And no, the open records blog hasn’t turned into a weather blog. I realize that historical precipitation numbers aren’t exactly what we normally talk about here … but cut me a little slack and just think of it as us making our own records open. We’ve been tracking precip in York County by month since 2002, using York Water Company numbers*, so there are some interesting numbers to look at.

 For starters, if you feel like you’ve lived in a tropical rainforest this fall … how soon you forget. (I count myself the worst offender here). Here are the precip totals from September-November from 2002-now:

2002: 14.6 inches
2003: 17.93
2004: 14.06
2005: 12.42
2006: 14.35
2007: 7.44
2008: 12.14
2009: 10.31 (through Nov. 27)

We’re halfway through November, so it would have to rain like crazy for this not to be one of the driest falls in the last eight years. Who would’ve guessed? Update Nov. 27: It hasn’t rained like crazy, and November’s almost over, so…

Other interesting facts:

  • In October, York County had 5.17 inches of rain. That’s the most in October since 8.34 inches fell in 2005.
  • York County has exceeded its average annual rainfall every year since 2002 except for 2006, which ended with about a one-inch deficit. Through October this year, the county was more than 8 inches below its annual average to that point.
  • Highest rainfall in any month: 9.56 inches in September 2004 (remnants of hurricanes Frances and Ivan, whose Susquehanna River flood level is pictured above, and compared with Agnes’ 1972 level).
  • Lowest precipitation in any month: .36 in February 2002.
  • In the 94 months we’ve been tracking this (through October), precipitation amounts have been below the monthly average 38 times and equal to the monthly average once.

Anything else you want to know?

*York Water Company has made its weather data available online at its Web site, beginning with this year’s stats.

About Scott Blanchard

Sunday editor at the York (Pa.) Daily Record/Sunday News. Follow me on Twitter and Google+.
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One Response to What you (maybe) thought you knew about all this rain

  1. Some people commented on the Web story as opposed to the blog post, but I’ll answer you here:
    1. Dave wrote, “Video huh?
    Well the ad came thru but the story didn’t.
    The YDR site wasn’t iphone friendly already, now video?”
    Dave, I don’t see anything about video on the Web site story or the blog post, but if I’m missing something, let me know.
    2. thankgodimovedoutofyork wrote, “”It might feel like it’s been raining all fall, but this might end up as of the drier autumns in York County’s recent past.”
    Shouldn’t it read “this might end up as *ONE* of the drier autumns”?”
    Why can’t this paper get anything right?
    TGIMOOY, the story does say it “might end up as one of the drier autumns.” If you saw an earlier version where that word was dropped, let me know. And if you did, it was my fault, because I wrote those 2 paragraphs online.
    3. Clive wrote, “So, what are we going to do…bring in the rain-dancers. Are the reservoirs full? Haven’t visited any lately.”
    Clive, you can check the reservoir levels at the York Water Company’s site (see link in blog post). As for the dancers, that’s your call entirely.
    4. John Waynes Horse wrote, “Dry? Have you seen all the mushrooms growing. And the muddy fields?”
    JWH, no on the mushrooms, yes on the fields (and my spongy yard), but note in the blog post I’m saying it feels like it’s been raining constantly. The numbers simply show it’s not as wet as some previous years.

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