Mariton: 2011 Precipitation Review

January 4, 2012

We ended the year with 80.37 inches of precipitation.  That is amazing.  The average yearly rainfall is 53.69 inches.  So, we ended up with more than two feet of precipitation above average.  (Keep in mind that average is now shifted about 2 inches upwards by this year’s precipitation.)  Another interesting fact is that in 1997 we received 40.39 inches of precipitation. 

Just a look back.  What would you think was the driest month of 2011?  Many people might think July (and it might have been where you live).  At Mariton, the driest month was June, with only 2.90 inches of precipitation.  That was almost two inces below average.  In fact, June was the only month with below average precipitation.  February was the next driest month, but it was still above average.

Wettest month?  This is tough also.  Did we get more rain from Irene, or from Lee?  We received more rain from Tropical Storm Lee in September.  Plus, in September I recorded eight consecutive days of measurable precipitation.  We ended up with 14.63 inches in September (8.17 inches above average). 

However, August was acutally wetter.  We received 15.45 inches in August (10.71 inches above average).  There was a lot of rain thoughout the month of August, including 3.88 inches recorded on August 14.

How about snow?  This is a little more difficult, as we had a few events that started as snow and switched over to rain or sleet.  Then you have the October snow storm with its 13″ of wet snow.  The records show that we received more snow in January (around 27 inches), it just didn’t melt during February.  In March, I actually received more snow than February, but it came later in the month and didn’t require plowing.

There you have it.  A precipitation retrospective of 2011.  What can we expect in 2012?  One school would suggest that we could be dry this year.  Usually precipitation averages out, and on the heels of a particularly wet summer/fall, we could expect a particularly dry winter/spring.  On the other hand, in 2003 we received over 66 inches (previously the wettest year), followed by 62 inches in 2004.  After 2011’s wacky weather, I have no idea what to expect in 2012, but I will try to enjoy it.