Wettest Year on Record in the Twin Cities

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2016 is now the wettest year in more than a century.  That’s right, the metro has just experienced its wettest year on record, with data going back to 1872.  This beats the old record set in 1911 and is just the 2nd time in city history we have had more than 40 inches of liquid precipitation in a calendar year.

The even more remarkable part of this story though is just how evenly spread our rainfall and snowfall events were over the course of the year.  Well timed rains kept many of us from having to water the grass all summer long.  Flash flooding was also an issue in a few different occasions.  While spring runoff was minimal, a very wet summer contributed to numerous flash flood events and kept river levels at near record high levels through more than half of the year.  The St. Croix actually set record crests in 2 different locations and many river levels were in the 95th percentile for depth going through much of the fall.

We aren’t the only ones that have a seen a wet year.  Most of the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes have had a very wet year.  Rochester and La Crosse have had their 2nd wettest years on record.  Madison is 4th on their list… and Eau Claire and Grand Rapids Michigan are in 5th.  A list of the top wet years for the metro and a look at the distribution of the year’s precipitation can be seen in the images above.