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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Rain so far

Rain looks to be on the way if I don't jinx it by saying so.  With that in mind I started looking at National weather service maps showing departures from "normal" for various time periods.  I was looking to show how dry the fall has been, but the maps don't seem to capture it as dramatically as I thought.  A big rain in mid-September in a lot of places skewed the results.  I think we have had a year of extremes with a wet spring and summer and now a very dry fall.  The map shows the departures from "normal".  I think a better term would be average.  It is normal to be dry in fall, but how far off average are we? 

Anyway, the departure from normal for the year to date precipitation shows the wide range of extremes this year in Illinois.  A good bit of the state has been 2 inches above normal to 4 inches below normal; however, the extremes are very extreme.  In Hancock County, rainfall has been as much as 20 inches above normal.  In several southern counties there are good size areas that are as much as 16 inches below normal.  Probably some small areas as extreme as 20 inches below normal. 

The really big question in all this is "What about next year?"  I have no idea except that with La Nina apparently in full swing, we might expect dryer than normal.  I hope it does not mean dryer than this year for my friends in southern Illinois. 

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