Top ten wet start to the year in Twin Cities

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It has been raining…a LOT over the last few weeks.

It has now rained for eight of the last 10 days and 16 of our 24 days in May so far. Combine that with a wet April and a REALLY snowy February, and you have the recipe to nearly break records.

We have now seen almost 5 inches of rain in May alone and are now closing in on 14 inches of liquid moisture so far in 2019, which is good enough for seventh wettest start to a year for the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport since records began in 1872.

What may be even more interesting though, is just how many recent years are on our top wet starts to a year. Four of the top seven are in the 21st century. It not exactly a coincidence, as Minnesota as a whole has been in a very wet pattern overall over the last decade and a half and there is no sign of it slowing down.

Amazingly though, even after nearly 5 inches of rain so far for the month, we are not close to even breaching the top 10 wettest Mays. We have to receive another 2 inches of rain to breach the top 10 and actually have to top 10 inches of rain for the month to hit the record.

Well, at least we are not the only ones that have been wet. In fact, almost the entire country has seen above average precipitation over the last 180 days. The map above indicates how far above or below average in precipitation the U.S. is over the last 6 months. Every green or blue spot indicates above average precipitation and every brown or red spot indicates below average precipitation.

According to the National Weather Service analysis, roughly 80 percent of the land area in the Lower 48 has been above average in precipitation over the last six months, which is the main reason why 98 percent of the country is drought free--the largest such percentage in roughly 20 years.

Some spots are one to two feet above average from the central and southern Plains to the mountains of California. The only region that has managed to stay fairly dry is parts of the Pacific Northwest and, amazingly, this pattern is likely to continue nationwide for the foreseeable future.