2018 on track to be wettest in 10 years, possibly ever

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By Charlie VanLeuven


Does it feel like it’s been rainier than normal?

Well, according to Western Kentucky University Mesonet data, it really has been rainier in Casey County. In fact, it was the rainiest September in six years, with 7.1 inches falling. Five of those inches fell between Sept. 22 and Sept. 30. The wettest September in the last 10 years was in 2012, when 9.75 inches fell.

The September 2018 precipitation total pushes Casey County to well over 53 inches for this calendar year, with still October, November and December to come. According to WKU, the wettest year in the last 10 years came in 2015, when 63.02 inches fell for the year total.

Meteorologist Ron Steve, of the Louisville National Weather Service, said in an interview that the 2018 September totals are nothing compared to 1979, where 12.47 inches fell in September. He attributed the deluge that year to the remnants of Hurricane Fredric.

The year 1979 also stands as the wettest calendar year on record, with 67.5 inches of precipitation.

Steve said that the wettest 365 days in history took place from Thanksgiving 1978 to Thanksgiving 1979 in which 78.21 inches fell.

This current year, however, is poised to overtake 2015 as the wettest in 10 years and could threaten the all-time calendar year record, unless the county has abnormally dry weather for the next three months.

Fifteen inches of precipitation, which would then break the all-time record, is unlikely to occur. However, that amount of precipitation has fallen in the recent past for the three-month period four times in the last 10 years (2011, 2013, 2014, and 2015).

A dry October, November and December is unlikely, but possible, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center forecasts for the next three months.

The area is expected to be warmer than normal, but has equal (33 percent) chances of being wetter than normal, average, or drier than normal.