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A quick checkup on this year’s rainfall

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This year has seemed pretty unusual, right? The winter held on a little longer, the spring stayed cool and wet, and really only had a couple of hot weeks scattered through the summer months. Follow all that with the last week’s worth of cool, cloudy, wet weather, and it seems like we ought to be breaking records in the rainfall category.

Surprisingly, we’re not. We are however, just a bit above normal. Since January first, we’ve had 41.78 inches of rain. Our average rainfall-to-date for the year is 35.53, so we’re only about six inches above normal. This time last year, we were sitting right at the average, and for a few years before that, we had really become accustomed to drier conditions as we struggled with drought.

Of course, part of what has made this year seem so much wetter than normal is that when we’ve had rain, we’ve had it as part of long stretches of wet, cool weather. For many of us, those stretches are more easily etched into memory because we tend to recall negative weather experiences faster than positive ones. As I’ve said before, there’s a bit of psychology to how we perceive the weather.

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About the blogger

Like most meteorologists, Niki Morock has been interested in weather since she was a child. After earning a bachelor’s degree in meteorology from N.C. State University in 2007, Niki moved to Minnesota and worked at Weather Eye Radio Network as a broadcast meteorologist, doing daily, live call-ins to morning radio show hosts across the Upper Midwest and Northern Plains and covering severe weather as it happened. While there, she also volunteered as a Skywarn storm spotter trainer, teaching civilians and first responders how to identify parts of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes and how to call in storm reports to the National Weather Service. Niki is now the vice president of the Central North Carolina Chapter of the American Meteorological Society and a member of the national American Meteorological Society.