Extreme Rainfall Out East

August 15, 2011 0 Comments

The year of extreme weather events continues across the U.S.  Sunday the East Coast was clobbered with incredible rainfall totals.  In fact New York City JFK Airport established its wettest day on record as 7.80″ of rain fell.  The old record was 6.27″ from June 30th, 1984.    The normal rainfall in New York City for the month of August is 3.68″.  Thus they picked up over twice their normal for the month in just one day. 

Other extraordinary rainfall reports include a whopping 10.87″ at Lido Beach, NY.  Newark, NJ was soaked with 6.40″, while Philadelphia picked up 4.84″.   As you can imagine flash flooding was a big problem with cars submerged in some areas along with road washouts, basement flooding, sewer overflows, etc. 

The excessive rain was caused by a very slow moving low pressure system in the Northeast U.S.  It had absorbed a lot of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Oceans and was wringing it out over that area.  It was still dumping heaving rain in parts of New England Monday.  What’s interesting is the fact that it had been fairly dry in the Northeast for a good chunk of the summer.  So the so was hard and parched before this event.

As I’ve said before, it sure is a shame that precipitation couldn’t be more evenly distributed across the globe.  It seems to increasingly be coming too much at once, or not at all for way too long.  This trend will likely continue.  Climate models have been predicting for over a decade already that precipitation events will become more extreme as the global climate warms.  NOAA has documented that trend has already begun.  I see no reason for it to change real soon.


About the Author:

StormTrak9 Meteorologist with WAOW-TV in Wausau, WI. Also the owner of Great Lakes Weather Service, LLC.

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