It wasn’t the wettest year on record.
But, 2019 was much wetter than normal. With a total of 62.95 inches of precipitation measured, it was the wettest year since 2015.
In records kept since 1951, last year ranked as the fifth-wettest year on record.
Since records were first kept, Downtown has averaged 43.91 inches of precipitation per year. The last year to fall below that average was 2012 at 33.27 inches.
The two wettest years on record came back-to-back in 2008 (76.81 inches) and 2009 (73.13).
The most recent wettest year was 2015, when 68.32 inches of precipitation was measured. That was followed by three years in the 40s with 48.49 inches of precipitation measured in 2016, 47.26 in 2017 and 45.56 in 2018.
Last year returned to a much wetter than normal pattern.
One Record Set
Only two months (September and November) were below their average precipitation totals in 2019 and one month, August, set a record as the new wettest month on record.
In August, a total of 11 inches of precipitation was measured. That beat the old record of 9.08 inches in 2000.
Average precipitation for August is 3.56 inches.
The year started with 2.94 inches of precipitation measured in January. The average for the month is 2.37 inches. It was the wettest January since 4.09 inches of precipitation was measured in 2013.
That included heavy snow Jan. 14 which was measured at 12.5 inches.
The month also yielded snow Jan. 21 and Jan. 31 with 0.38 of an inch of ice with the first and bitter cold with the second snowstorm.
February was drier than 2018, but the 2.85 inches still put it slightly above the 2.37-inch monthly average.
February brought additional snow as well as sleet, ice, and the first big rain event of 1.7 inches Feb. 7.
March yielded 5.72 inches of precipitation. The average is 3.58 inches.
Last year had the wettest March since 2011, when 6.93 inches of precipitation was recorded.
There were three measurements of over an inch with 1.3 inches March 11, 1 inch March 13, and 1.95 inches March 30.
For April, a total of 5.45 inches was measured with 4.28 being the average. It was wetter than 2018 (2.45) but much drier than the 10.39 inches of 2016 or the 10.38 inches of 2017.
Much of the rain fell April 15 and 18. The April 15 event dropped 1.05 inches. There was 2.29 inches April 18.
May was the second-wettest month of 2019 with 9.03 inches of precipitation. It was the wettest May since 9.99 inches was measured in 2013.
There were two events with over 2 inches of precipitation. A total of 2.37 inches was measured May 1 and 2.35 inches fell May 22.
Heavy storms May 21 spawned an EF-1 tornado which ran from near Labadie to Augusta. The National Weather Service reported the storm had a 6-mile damage path with a maximum width of 250 yards and top winds around 100 mph.
More tornadoes, including an EF-3 which went through the middle of Jefferson City, struck late May 22 into May 23.
The Jefferson City tornado forced MSHSAA to move the Class 4 state track meet to Washington.
June’s total was 5.93 inches of precipitation, above the 4.4 average. It was the wettest June on record since 10.77 inches of rain was measured in 2015.
Two events topped an inch. June 18 yielded 1.9 inches and June 24 brought 1.8 inches.
For July, a total of 7.4 inches of precipitation was measured. The average of 4 inches. Last year was the wettest since 2017, when 7.71 inches of rain fell.
The wettest day was July 21 with 2.98 inches. Another 1.52 measurement came July 18.
August was described above and was the wettest August on record at 11 inches. The average for that month is 3.56 inches.
August had the wettest day with 5.14 inches of precipitation measured Aug. 26.
The reading for Aug. 31 was 2.27 inches. The Aug. 22 measurement was 1.42 inches and Aug. 13 brought 1.32 inches. The Aug. 13 event was the first measured precipitation for the month.
The driest season was fall with two months below average.
September yielded 1.88 inches of rain. The average is 3.83 inches. It was the driest September since 2017, when 1.81 inches fell.
The wettest day was 1.1 inches Sept. 9.
October was the lone wet month of the season with 5.32 inches of rain. The average is 3.45 inches. It was the wettest October since 2014, when 9.85 inches of precipitation was measured.
There were two measurements over an inch. A total of 2.1 inches was measured Oct. 11 and 1.3 inches fell Oct. 30.
The driest month was November when 0.91 of an inch of precipitation was measured. That included the first snow of the fall with 1.23 inches measured Nov. 12. It was the driest November since 2017, when 0.8 of an inch was measured.
Going Out Wet
December returned to the wetter-than-average trend with 4.52 inches of precipitation. The average is 3.17 inches. The 2018 measurement was higher at 5.04 inches.
December included about 5 inches of snow measured Dec. 16 and 17.
There were two events over an inch for December. A total of 2.2 inches was measured Dec. 2 with 1.5 inches Dec. 30.
The year 2019 also was a big one for river flooding in the area. That was detailed in a story which ran in the Wednesday, Jan. 8, Missourian.