Last year around this time, I reported on this blog that Wooster had just completed its third wettest year on record. A year later, the “wettest year” record has been broken. With continuous record-keeping beginning in 1900 at the OARDC weather station, the 1901 water year (Oct 1900 through Sep 1901) is the first full year, and 2019 is the 119th year on record. Amazingly, this was the wettest year ever recorded for Wooster. Here is an updated graph of the annual precipitation in Wooster with “line of best fit” and a more detailed curve. The black dot at the end of the time series is water year 2019. At 56.3 inches, it beat out the previous record of 51.0 inches set in 2004 by 6% — a large margin! Note that although, there has been a long-term increase in annual precipitation at Wooster, this year was so far above the trend line that it’s likely we’ll drop back down to around 42 inches next year.
The reason for this record was primarily because of an exceptionally wet period from May through August, peaking with a July in which we experienced about twice as much precipitation as normal. Late spring to early summer is usually our wetter season, but this year the summer storms were dramatic. However, as shown in the plot below, every month except September yielded above-average precipitation. (The green bars are the total precipitation in 2019 for each month; the blue dots are the average, and the black whiskers are the standard deviation.) In fact, the record was broken in August!
Finally, it’s worth noting that the maximum daily precipitation was 4.22 inches recorded July 22. That ranks 5th highest all-time in Wooster for daily precipitation. Only two days have ever had over 5 inches — September 14, 1979 and the infamous flood of July 5, 1969. (Note, because of when precipitation is recorded, much of the precipitation really fell on the 21st, 13th, and 4th, respectively.)