2008 A Prime Contender For 'Raining' King of Precipitation in Wichita (6/18/2008)

By: ES

All have heard this cheesy mini-poem since 1st grade: 'April Showers bring May Flowers'. Not so in 2008, during which April showers brought May downpours.

It's definitely true that Nature has been showering the Great Plains with all sorts of atmospheric attention. However, as most of you know, much of this attention could be done without, as persistent, very heavy rainfalls have resulted in some horrific flooding. As for the former, Central, South-Central, and Southeast Kansas have been no exception.

At Wichita's Mid-Continent Airport, the year-to-date rainfall, through June 17th of this year, is a staggering 24.03 inches. The month of May played by far the greatest role, during which a staggering 13.14 inches of rain washed out the previous May record of 11.22 inches set 73 years ago, in 1935. Oddly enough, this was during the infamous Dust Bowl, and all that rainfall didn't occur from just a couple of thunderstorms. In fact, there were 6 dates on which more than 1 inch of rain was measured in May, 1935, so the rainfall was well distributed during the month. As for the 169-day period ending on June 17th, the only year to surpass 2008, was 1951, when 24.55 inches soaked the Air Capital. It was also in 1951 that Wichita recorded it's greatest annual rainfall on record: 50.48 inches. So at this time, 1951 still 'rains' as the King of Precipitation in the Air Capital.

In Central Kansas, Nature showered Ellsworth with a record-shattering annual precipitation of 55.57 inches just last year. The year-to-date total through June 17th, 2007 was 30.24 inches. Of this total, a staggering 17.58 inches, 32% of the 2007 total rainfall, swamped the town in May. However, only 12.68 inches have been measured so far in 2008. Like Wichita, Lincoln set their all-time precipitation record in 1951, when 50.25 inches soaked the town, and also like Wichita, Lincoln measured their greatest rainfall total, through June 17th, of 22.67 inches.

In Southeast Kansas, Chanute's all-time record year-to-date rainfall, through June 17th, is a staggering 33.66 inches set in 1990. The year of 1927 was a close second with 33.24 inches. For this same period, 2008 has finished a distant 10th with 26.73 inches. The all-time annual precipitation for Chanute is (Get your lifeboats ready.) 63.86 inches set in 1927!

Now that you folks are swimming in a sea of rainfall statistics, it's time to sign off. Here's hoping that this article has 'wet' your curiosity as to just how much rain has fallen in some parts of Kansas so far this year.

This story was brought to you by the National Weather Service - Wichita, Kansas.



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