2016 precipitation: feast or famine

- You think it’s been wet in the metro; well our rains don’t even come close to some spots in northern Iowa.  Despite the fact that the Iowa border is less than 100 miles from the Twin Cities metro, some spots have seen nearly 20 more inches of precipitation this year than MSP Airport.  That’s pretty astonishing!

There is a common misconception that areas with close proximity to each other receive similar precipitation during storms throughout the year.  While that can happen, it often doesn’t.  Areas that are just a few miles from each other, or even a few hundred yards from each other, can receive vastly different precipitation from storm to storm over the course of a year.

Take our current situation for example.  MSP Airport has seen just less than 29 inches of precipitation on the year.  But a little over 100 miles to our southeast in Cresco, Iowa, they have seen over 4 FEET of precipitation!  It’s already that city’s wettest year on record and there is still have more than 100 days to go. 

While exact yearly precipitation totals are only kept for a handful of cities, the map below can help give you a general estimate for precipitation across the area since January 1st.  Notice the pockets of heavier rains from the big flooding event north of the metro from early June, and then that swath of hefty rains across southeastern Minnesota and northeast Iowa…


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