The high humidity continues across central New York today. Personally, I know it is humid when I get out of my air conditioned car and my glasses immediately fog up. Essentially we’ve been transported to south Florida for the last week and a half. Think about it, temperatures have been in the 80s and touching 90, our dewpoints have been 70 or better on each of the last 9 days (all of July) and there has been daily bouts of showers and thunderstorms. That, in a nutshell my friends, is what they endure in Miami from June through September - four full months. Some central New Yorker’s wish our weather was more like Florida’s. You’ve got your wish.
Speaking of rain, the rainfall just east of Syracuse over the last month has been very impressive. Here are some rain totals from early June through yesterday
30 Day Rain
New Hartford (Oneida)
When you consider most of these places average 3.5” to 4” of rain a month this time of year then you are looking at 3 to 4 months worth of rain over the last 30 days. For a number of places in Madison and Oneida counties, 6-8” of rain has fallen in just the last week and a half.
The Syracuse total, as measured at the airport, is just over seven and a half inches. That puts us on pace to be one of the wettest summers. Here are the wettest summers since 1949 in Syracuse:
We are less than half way through the summer months and we stand at 7.61” If we end up close to normal rainfall the rest of the way we would crack into the top 10 wettest summers.
I got a question from a viewer the other day who thought that we were getting more heavy rain events than we used to. I know that there has been some talk that as the climate changes around us there has been a general increase in heavy rain events across all the Northeast but I wanted to see if that held for a specific area, like Syracuse.
Now keep in mind, these numbers are just for the airport in North Syracuse, during the summer months of June-August. The nature of summer precipitation, as we have seen in the past 2 weeks, can be rather scattered. Over one area it could pour and 5 miles away not a drop falls. By looking decade to to decade I’m hoping to take a bit of that randomness out of the equation. What I did was look at summer days where there was at least half an inch of rain and then at least an inch. Here is what I found by looking by decade.
Days .50”+ Rain
Days 1.00”+ Rain
You can make a case there has been a slow uptick from the ‘90s into the ‘00s in heavy rain events but we are nowhere near the extreme rain events we saw during the 1970’s, especially the first half of the decade.
So far this summer Syracuse has had 4 days with at least half an inch of rain and two of those days ended up with more than an inch. Those days all occurred in the month of June.
It does look like after Wednesday the pattern over us changes enough that our threat for heavy downpours will finally decrease as the atmosphere starts to dry out a bit. Good news for all of central New York and especially for the counties east of Syracuse!