A Wet Year in the Great Lakes


2019 has been a wet year over most of the Great Lakes Region and much of the country. Up top is the precipitation surplus for the year so far. Grand Rapids officially has had 5.25″ more precipitation than average this year. Muskegon is at a surplus of 7.37″. Lansing (where runoff goes into the Grand River is at +4.42″ for the year. Kalamazoo is nearly 3 1/2″ above average for the year. You might remember the Waldo Stadium flood of June 20th:

Flood at Waldo Stadium June 20, 2019

Below is the Precipitation Anomaly (difference from average) for the past 180 days:

Precipitation Anomaly (Difference from Average) for the past 180 days

The scale on the left shows that much of the Central U.S. is more than 8″ above average precipitation for the year. This has caused problems for farmers with some fields going unplanted due to the wet conditions.

Shelf cloud and thunderstorm over Isle Royale National Park – July 2019

It’s also been wet around Lake Superior. This pic. above is a shelf cloud and approaching thunderstorm over Isle Royale (pic. from NPS and Molly Cooper). S. Ste. Marie is nearly 9″ above average precipitation so far this year (that’s a lot). Marquette is 6.59″ above average precipitation for 2019. They had 227.6″ of snow this winter, including 89.9″ just in the month of February (they had two calendar days with 16″ of snow in Feb. and 6 mornings with the temperature -12° or colder. Check out this pic. from Isle Royale from Carl TerHaar.

The precipitation surplus for the year as of 8/4 is +4.17″ at Milwaukee, +6.97″ at Green Bay and +7.24″ at Chicago (O’Hare).

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