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Ten Inches of Monthly Precipitation Becoming More Common in New York



June 2013 was the twenty-fifth month to receive ten inches or more of precipitation in New York (going back to 1869).  It's not a common occurrence, but in the past ten years it's been happening more often.  Between 1869 and 2002 it occurred once every eight years, but since 2003 a month with ten inches of precipitation has happened once every 1.3 years (eight times).  An argument can be made that this is likely the result of global warming, which has put more water vapor in the air, at least in the Northeastern U.S.  Here are some more wet facts:


  • The greatest amount of time between months with ten inches of precipitation was 21 years, which occurred between 1913 and 1933.  Next longest period was 18 years, between 1955 and 1972.
  • 1983 is the only year that had back-to-back months with ten inches or more of precipitation (in March and April).  However, 1983's precipitation totals are suspect because, as many students of New York weather remember, Central Park's rain gauge was broken for part of the year, calling into question the veracity of precipitation totals.  
  • After 1983 the closest that two consecutive months came to having ten inches of precipitation each was August and September 2011.  September had 9.39" after 18.95" fell in August (the rainiest month on record).  Next closest was in 1933 when August had 8.85" and September measured 10.09". 
  • Some very wet months have followed or preceded some of the driest.  For example:


2007 April 13.05" May   1.88"
2005 Sept   0.48" Oct 16.73"
2004 Sept 11.51" Oct   1.18"
1980 Feb   1.04" March 10.41"
1955 July   0.51" Aug 10.86"
1944 Aug   1.84" Sept 10.30"
1934 Aug   2.77" Sept 11.96"
1913 Oct 12.97" Nov  2.16"
1903 Oct 13.31" Nov  0.97"
1882 Aug   1.14" Sept 16.85"


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