2010 was Very Wet across
the Upper Mississippi River Valley

Jeff Boyne, NWS La Crosse, WI


The 2010 calendar year was very wet across the Upper Mississippi River Valley.  It was the second wettest calendar year in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.  Anywhere from 85 to 90 percent of this precipitation fell during five months (June, July, August, September, and December).

Iowa

Iowa averaged 44.21 inches of precipitation during the 2010 calendar year.  This was 11.97 inches above the 1901-2000 average of 32.24 inches.  This was the second wettest year in Iowa since records began in 1895.  The only year that was wetter was 1993 when the state average precipitation was 48.23 inches.  The wettest location in Iowa was Rathbum Dam (Appanoose County in south central Iowa) with 65.18 inches or precipitation.

Locally, the 2010 rainfall totals ranged from 35.59 inches in Calmar to 51.32 inches in Strawberry Point.  Normally, this area has annual rainfall around 34 inches. Elkader had their third wettest calendar year.  The figure below lists the precipitation totals for various locations in northeast Iowa.

Precipitation across northeast Iowa during 2010

Minnesota

Minnesota averaged 33.64 inches of precipitation during the 2010 calendar year.  This was 7.67 inches above the 1901-2000 average of 25.97 inches.  This was the second wettest year in Minnesota since records began in 1895.  The only year that was wetter was 1977 when the state average precipitation was 33.92 inches.  The wettest location in Minnesota was Wabasha (49.92 inches). 

Locally, the 2010 rainfall totals ranged from 37.29 inches in Spring Valley to 49.92 inches in Wabasha.  Normally, this area has annual rainfall around 32 inches. Four locations (La Crescent Dam 7, Theilman, Wabasha, and Zumbrota) had their wettest calendar years, and Caledonia had their second wettest calendar year.  The figure below lists the precipitation totals for various locations in southeast Minnesota.

Precipitation across southeast Minnesota during 2010

Wisconsin

Wisconsin averaged 38.78 inches of precipitation during the 2010 calendar year.  This was 7.37 inches above the 1901-2000 average of 31.41 inches.  This was the second wettest year in Wisconsin since reliable records began in 1895.  The only year that was wetter was 1938 when the state average precipitation was 41.86 inches.  The two wettest locations in Wisconsin were Alma Dam 4 (50.82 inches) and Genoa Dam 8 (50.46 inches).

Locally, the 2010 rainfall totals ranged from 38.68 inches at Lynxville Dam 9 to 50.82 inches at Alma Dam 4.  Normally, this area has annual rainfall around 32 inches. Three locations (Ontario, Reedsburg, and Westby 3ENE) had their wettest calendar years, and five locations (Alma Dam 4, Genoa Dam 8, La Farge, La Crosse National Weather Service, and Viroqua) had their second wettest calendar year.  The figure below lists the precipitation totals for various locations in western Wisconsin.

Precipitation across western Wisconsin during 2010


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