Mariton: First Quarter Precipitation

April 8, 2021

by Tim Burris, Preserve Manager

I enjoy reviewing Mariton’s precipitation records.  The first three months of the year ended with more precipitation than average, and I really did not expect that.  January was really quite dry.  I just couldn’t remember receiving much precipitation during the month.  When I looked back, it was indeed the second driest January in my records with 1.97 inches of precipitation.  (The driest January was 2008, when we received 1.45”.)   My average for January is 3.44”.

February was never ending for me.  We had the big storm at the beginning of the month, and I spent the week plowing and shoveling snow.  Then we got into a pattern of regular weather events.  Some were sleet or rain, but many were snow.  It seemed that as soon as I cleaned up from one snow event, it would snow again, and the process would start all over.  So yes, there was a lot of precipitation, but you probably remember from science class that solid water (ice and snow) has more volume than liquid water.  (An inch of snow is about 0.10” of liquid when melted.)  So, while I remembered a lot of snow, and I knew it would be above average, I was surprised by how much precipitation I actually recorded.  Mariton received 6.34” of precipitation for February, and the average is 3.35.  (Interestingly, 2008 was the wettest February with 7.20 inches of precipitation.)

I remembered March being dry.  We didn’t have any measurable precipitation until St. Patrick’s Day.  I guess I forgot the rainy days after that because I was able to catch up on work in the office.  Anyways, we received 3.80 inches of precipitation in March and the average is 4.07.

So how bad was my recollection?  I expected to be below average for the 3-month period.  We received 12.11” and the average is 10.86”.  In retrospect, I didn’t think March would be so close to average.