Tuesday, December 15, 2009

2009 Wetter Than Average

After a sluggish start to the year, it seemed Richmond and much of Central Virginia transitioned to a pattern of healthy doses of rainfall regularly. By December, I've often heard people bemoaning yet another rainy day. It's true, this year ended up a wet one! As mentioned a couple Blog entries ago, we now have the 6th wettest December on record for Richmond International Airport, and we may add to this before 2009 is in the books, seeing as we are only half-way through the month. We have also already surpassed the average annual rainfall for RIC, which is 43.70" per year (based on 1949-2006 records). As of December 15th, RIC has recorded 46.09" of precipitation, so even if we don't see another drop of rain (or snow) the rest of the month, we will close 2009 with above-average precipitation.

Someone asked me this morning if we've been wetter than Seattle, WA this year. Actually, despite Seattle's stigma for being the "Rain City," Seattle's average annual rainfall is well below Richmond's, and most cities on the East Coast! Seattle's average precipitation in a year is about 38.17" (based on 1949-2006 records). We, on average, have Seattle beat by 5.53" in a year. It should be mentioned, though, that Seattle tends to have days upon days of mist or steady light rain, which accounts for the wet stigma. Seattle has 138 Rain Days per year, whereas Richmond has 113. In 2009, Richmond has had 120 Rain Days so far. That's a week more of rainy days than average.

For additional 2009 perspective, here are some selected locations' 2009-to-date precipitation as of December 15:
Seattle, WA 33.85"
Boston, MA 42.76" (+2.27" from average)
Houston, TX 45.15" (-0.70" from average)
Richmond, VA 46.09" (+3.91" from average)
Orlando, FL 50.32" (+3.21" from average)
Tuscaloosa, AL 60.27" (+5.79" from average)
Birmingham, AL 68.65" (+17.14" from average...wow!)
So perhaps it's more appropriate to say that we've been wetter than Houston this year, or almost as wet as Florida (another stigma..."The Sunshine State" is wetter than Seattle, WA and Orlando has 118 Rain Days per year, more than Richmond).

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