2008 Annual Rainfall and Flooding Summary

With 2008 producing the all-time record precipitation record for St. Louis, it is not surprising to find this was a very big year for local flooding. The year’s biggest events took place in the Meramec River basin in March, along the Mississippi River in June and July, in the Salt River basin in late July, and in many local basins in September with the passage of the remnants of Hurricane Ike.

On March 17th – 19th, a storm system dumped between 6 and 8 inches of rain across the Meramec River basin, including the Bourbeuse and Big rivers. For most forecast gauges in the Meramec basin, this event produced at least the 4th greatest flood of record. In fact, at the Meramec River at Steelville gauge, the crest was the second highest ever, only 0.38 feet below the record set in 1998. Numerous homes and businesses were flooded in the Pacific, Eureka, Fenton, Union, Cedar Hill, and Byrnesville areas.

In early June, record rainfall in southern Wisconsin and northeastern Iowa produced historic flooding in these areas. The Cedar River at Cedar Rapids, IA exceeded its old flood of record by 11 feet, and the old record was established in 1851! As this water entered the Mississippi River, new record crests were established eclipsing the 1993 levels. In the St. Louis Hydrologic Service Area, these 1993 records remained intact, though just barely in northeastern Missouri. At the Canton lock and dam, the crest of 27.73 feet was only 0.15 feet below the 1993 record. But major floods crested along the Mississippi north of the Missouri River confluence in late June, overtopping levees throughout this stretch. This flooding heavily impacted LaGrange, MO, Hannibal, MO, Louisiana, MO, Clarksville, MO, Foley, MO, Winfield, MO, Hamburg, IL, Grafton, IL, and Portage des Sioux, MO.

In late July, several days of excessive rain in the upper Salt River basin produced tremendous inflow into the Clarence Cannon Dam, forcing the Corps of Engineers to release flood flow below the dam, flooding farmland and homes near New London, MO for the first time since the dam was completed in 1984. Above the dam, substantial flooding took place to homes and businesses in Paris, MO.

In mid September, the remnants of Hurricane Ike passed through Missouri. The ground was still moist from the remnants of Hurricane Gustav just 10 days earlier. A large area of 4-6 inch rainfall generated widespread significant flooding, with major flooding reported along the Cuivre River, the Middle and North Fabius Rivers, the Moreau River, and the Illinois River. In addition, numerous smaller creeks in St. Louis County produced record flooding, killing two residents in University City.
Annual Rainfall 2008
ASOS/Cooperative Observation Stations

Northeast Missouri
Bowling Green 61.00 (36.90)
Canton L/D 20 49.72 (38.44)
Edina 55.24 (39.32)
Hannibal 57.78 (40.17)
Paris 62.61 (38.26)
Shelbina 64.34 (38.59)

Central Missouri
California 53.61 (40.23)
Columbia COU 56.78 (40.28)
Freedom 61.88 (40.45)
Fulton 57.45 (41.22)
Jefferson City 61.19 (39.59)
Mexico 65.60 (39.47)

East Central Missouri
DeSoto 57.33 (40.34)
Elsberry 1 S 55.01 (38.25)
Hermann 59.19 (42.18)
Union 61.17 (42.50)
Warrenton 1 N 54.35 (37.09)

St. Louis MetroNet
St. Louis STL 57.96 (38.75)
Weldon Spring NWS 62.75 (38.64)

Southeast Missouri
Arcadia 56.05 (46.76)
Ellington 46.78 (45.95)
Farmington 50.53 (42.78)
Fredericktown 50.13 (45.06)
Potosi 4 SW 56.25 (40.17)
Rosebud 58.26 (43.39)
Sullivan 53.84 (41.31)

West Central Illinois
Carlinville 52.22 (38.59)
Griggsville 55.49 (37.17)
Mt Sterling 52.00 (37.58)
Quincy UIN 49.68 (38.44)
White Hall 1 E 54.46 (35.69)

Central Illinois
Carlyle Lake 55.89 (40.64)
Hillsboro 53.06 (40.18)
Salem 56.45 (42.53)
Vandalia 58.52 (38.90)

Southwest Illinois
Belleville SIU 54.33 (39.37)
Chester 49.37 (44.22)
Edwardsville 2 W 58.58 (40.21)
Greenville 49.99 (40.14)
Jerseyville 2 SW 62.49 (38.31)
Kaskaskia L/D 45.73 (39.66)
Nashville 1 E 50.71 (39.02)

2008 St. Louis Annual Precipitation Record

The year 2008 will long be remembered as the wettest year on record for St. Louis. Officially, St. Louis recorded 57.96 inches of precipitation in 2008, which was nearly three inches more than the previous record year of 1982.

Rainfall Graph

ST. LOUIS 
(1870-2008)

TOP TEN WETTEST YEARS ON RECORD

 1. 57.96 (2008)
 2. 54.97 (1982)
 3. 54.76 (1993)
 4. 51.65 (1984)
 5. 50.83 (1927)
 6. 50.73 (1985)
 7. 50.31 (1946)
 8. 49.28 (1915)
 9. 49.20 (1898)
10. 48.46 (1876)

Normal = 38.75 
(1971-2000)
 

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ST. LOUIS MO
1216 AM CST THU JAN 1 2009
...ANNUAL SUMMARY BY THE NUMBERS...

ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI
--------------------
...PERIOD OF RECORD:  1870 TO PRESENT...
(UNOFFICIAL RECORDS EXIST BACK TO JAN 1837)

       AVG HIGH  AVG LOW  AVG MEAN  PCPN  SNOW   REMARKS
       --------  -------  --------  ----  ----   -------
JAN:     42.9      23.0     33.0    1.98   4.2
        + 5.0     + 1.8    + 3.4   -0.16  -3.2
FEB:     40.5      24.2     32.4    4.60   8.2   9TH WETTEST
        - 3.8     - 2.3    - 3.0   +2.32  +3.4
MAR:     53.8      34.0     43.9    8.39  10.0   TOP WETTEST OF ALL TIME
        - 1.6     - 2.2    - 1.9   +4.79  +6.7   13TH SNOWIEST
APR:     63.8      44.6     54.2    3.76     T
        - 2.9     - 1.9    - 2.4   +0.07  -0.6
MAY:     72.4      53.9     63.2   10.84     T   3RD WETTEST
        - 4.1     - 2.7    - 3.3   +6.73     T
JUN:     85.9      67.7     76.8    1.89
        + 0.6     + 1.8    + 1.2   -1.87
JUL:     88.5      70.1     79.3    7.50         6TH WETTEST
        - 1.3     - 0.5    - 0.9   +3.60
AUG:     85.9      67.5     76.7    1.59
        - 2.0     - 1.1    - 1.5   -1.39
SEP:     79.2      61.3     70.3    9.77         2ND WETTEST
        - 0.9     + 1.0    + 0.1   +6.81
OCT:     68.3      48.3     58.3    1.23
          0.0     + 0.1      0.0   -1.53
NOV:     53.2      36.3     44.8    1.86   2.4   20TH SNOWIEST
        - 0.6     - 0.4    - 0.5   -1.85  +0.9
DEC:     41.8      23.1     32.5    4.55   1.5   11TH WETTEST
        - 0.2     - 2.7    - 1.4   +1.69  -3.4
 
SEASONAL SUMMARY
-----------------
WINTER:  42.2      25.0     33.6    9.32  20.1   TIED 20TH WETTEST
        + 0.8     + 0.5    + 0.6   +2.04  +3.0
SPRING:  63.3      44.2     53.8   22.99  10.0   2ND WETTEST
        - 2.9     - 2.2    - 2.5  +11.59  +6.1   14TH SNOWIEST
SUMMER:  86.8      68.4     77.6   10.98
        - 0.9       0.0    - 0.4  + 0.34
FALL:    66.9      48.6     57.8   12.86   2.4   20TH WETTEST
        - 0.5     + 0.2    - 0.1   +3.43  +0.9

ANNUAL SUMMARY
---------------
ANNUAL:  64.7      46.2     55.5   57.96  26.3   TOP WETTEST OF ALL TIME
        - 1.0     - 0.7    - 0.8  +19.21  +3.8

RECORDS SET AT ST. LOUIS IN 2008
DATE       RECORD                                OLD RECORD
-----      -------                               -----------
JAN  6:    HIGH TEMPERATURE OF 73                67 SET IN 1907
JAN  7:    HIGH TEMPERATURE OF 73                TIES RECORD SET IN 1965
JAN  8:    MAXIMUM RAINFALL OF 1.58              1.31 SET IN 1889
JAN 29:    HIGH TEMPERATURE OF 73                67 SET IN 1988
FEB  5:    MAXIMUM RAINFALL OF 2.36              0.56 SET IN 1911
MAR  4:    MAXIMUM SNOWFALL OF 10.0              3.7 SET IN 1965
MAR 18:    MAXIMUM RAINFALL OF 2.46              1.92 SET IN 1899
MAR:       MAXIMUM MONTHLY RAINFALL OF 8.39      8.25 SET IN 1897
APR 13:    MAXIMUM SNOWFALL OF A TRACE           NO PREVIOUS RECORD
SEP 14:    MAXIMUM RAINFALL OF 4.58              1.80 SET IN 1993
OCT 13:    HIGHEST MINIMUM TEMPERATURE OF 69     TIES RECORD SET IN 1886
NOV 30:    MAXIMUM SNOWFALL OF 2.4               2.3 SET IN 2006
2008:      MAXIMUM YEARLY RAINFALL OF 57.96      54.97 SET IN 1982
________________________________________________________________________________

COLUMBIA, MISSOURI
-------------------
...PERIOD OF RECORD: 1889 TO PRESENT...
       AVG HIGH  AVG LOW  AVG MEAN  PCPN  SNOW   REMARKS
       --------  -------  --------  ----  ----   --------
JAN:     42.1      20.6     31.4    2.57   1.5
        + 4.7     + 2.4    + 3.6   +0.84  -5.9
FEB:     39.0      22.7     30.9    3.69   2.9                                                            -
        - 4.9     - 0.7    - 2.8   +1.49  -3.6   12TH WETTEST
MAR:     54.8      32.8     43.8    5.37     T   10TH WETTEST
        - 0.3     - 0.2    - 0.2   +2.16  -3.4
APR:     63.7      42.6     53.2    4.27     T
        - 2.2     - 0.3    - 1.2   +0.11  -0.7
MAY:     72.6      52.5     62.6    6.34
        - 2.0     - 0.3    - 1.1   +1.47
JUN:     83.5      64.0     73.8    5.44
        - 0.1     + 2.2    + 1.1   +1.42
JUL:     85.9      67.3     76.6   10.52         3RD WETTEST
        - 2.7     + 1.0    - 0.8   +6.72
AUG:     83.2      63.5     73.4    2.58         15TH COOLEST
        - 4.1     - 0.5    - 2.3   -1.17
SEP:     76.4      57.5     67.0   10.77         4TH WETTEST
        - 2.7     + 2.1    - 0.3   +7.35
OCT:     66.7      44.7     55.7    1.28
        - 1.3     + 0.6    - 0.3   -1.90
NOV:     51.6      33.1     42.4    1.38   0.5
        - 1.8     + 0.1    - 0.8   -2.09  -1.5
DEC:     40.3      19.2     29.8    2.57   1.9
        - 1.2     - 3.3    - 2.2   +0.10  -2.5

SEASONAL SUMMARY
-----------------
WINTER:  40.6      23.0     31.9    9.78  14.4   5TH WETTEST
        - 0.3     + 1.6    + 0.7   +3.38  -4.1
SPRING:  63.7      42.6     53.2   15.98     T   19TH WETTEST
        - 1.5     - 0.3    - 0.8   +3.74  -4.1   TIED 2ND LEAST SNOWIEST
SUMMER:  84.2      65.0     74.6   18.54         8TH WETTEST
        - 2.3     + 1.0    - 0.7   +6.97
FALL:    64.9      45.1     55.0   13.43   0.5
        - 1.9     + 0.9    - 0.5   +3.36  -1.5

ANNUAL SUMMARY
---------------
ANNUAL:  63.3      43.4     53.4   56.78   6.8   2ND WETTEST
        - 1.6     + 0.3    - 0.6  +16.50 -17.6   6TH LEAST SNOWIEST

RECORDS SET AT COLUMBIA IN 2008
DATE       RECORD                                OLD RECORD
-----      -------                               -----------
JAN  6:    HIGH TEMPERATURE OF 72                TIES RECORD SET IN 1907
JAN  8:    MAXIMUM RAINFALL OF 1.04              0.80 SET IN 1937
JAN 29:    HIGH TEMPERATURE OF 64                TIES RECORD SET IN 1988
FEB  5:    MAXIMUM RAINFALL OF 1.22              0.71 SET IN 1942
FEB 17:    MAXIMUM RAINFALL OF 1.11              0.79 SET IN 2000
MAR 17:    MAXIMUM RAINFALL OF 1.19              1.01 SET IN 1991
APR 29:    LOW TEMPERATURE OF 32                 34 SET IN 1976
JUL 22:    MAXIMUM RAINFALL OF 3.23              1.11 SET IN 1993
JUL 28:    MAXIMUM RAINFALL OF 1.52              1.47 SET IN 1907
SEP  4:    MAXIMUM RAINFALL OF 2.31              2.29 SET IN 1910
SEP 14:    MAXIMUM RAINFALL OF 1.99              1.75 SET IN 1912

________________________________________________________________________________

QUINCY, ILLINOIS
-----------------
...PERIOD OF RECORD: 1948 TO PRESENT...
(UNOFFICIAL RECORDS EXIST BACK TO THE 1910`S)

       AVG HIGH  AVG LOW  AVG MEAN  PCPN         REMARKS
       --------  -------  --------  ----         --------
JAN:     38.0      18.6     28.3    2.41         18TH WARMEST
        + 5.3     + 1.9    + 3.6   +1.05         12TH WETTEST
FEB:     33.9      18.1     26.0    3.34         14TH COOLEST
        - 4.8     - 3.9    - 4.4   +1.50         5TH WETTEST
MAR:     49.7      29.9     39.8    2.46
        - 1.2     - 2.4    - 1.8   -0.58
APR:     60.8      41.3     51.2    3.64         16TH COOLEST
        - 2.3     - 1.5    - 1.8   -0.15
MAY:     69.9      49.9     59.9    4.39         13TH COOLEST
        - 2.9     - 3.1    - 3.0   -0.47
JUN:     82.5      63.2     72.9    9.80         TOP WETTEST OF ALL TIME
        + 0.7     + 1.0    + 0.9   +6.19
JUL:     84.7      65.8     75.3    6.48         TIED 19TH COOLEST
        - 1.3     - 0.8    - 1.0   +2.64         11TH WETTEST
AUG:     82.5      62.8     72.7    2.28         15TH COOLEST
        - 1.5     - 1.5    - 1.5   -1.16         18TH DRIEST
SEP:     75.2      57.1     66.2    8.60         6TH WETTEST
        - 1.9     + 1.2    - 0.3   +4.75
OCT:     64.8      44.2     54.5    2.53
        - 0.7     - 0.4    - 0.6   -0.68
NOV:     49.7      33.1     41.4    0.56         9TH DRIEST
        - 0.5     - 0.1    - 0.3   -2.67
DEC:     36.0      16.6     26.3    3.19
        - 1.2     - 5.3    - 3.3   +0.82

SEASONAL SUMMARY
-----------------
WINTER:  35.9      19.7     27.8    8.42         5TH WETTEST
        - 0.3     - 0.5    - 0.4   +2.85
SPRING:  60.1      40.4     50.3   10.49         TIED 15TH COOLEST
        - 2.2     - 2.3    - 2.2   -1.20
SUMMER:  83.2      63.9     73.6   18.56         TIED 20TH COOLEST
        - 0.7     - 0.5    - 0.6   +7.67         6TH WETTEST
FALL:    63.2      44.8     54.0   11.28         17TH WETTEST
        - 1.1     + 0.2    - 0.4   +0.99

ANNUAL SUMMARY
---------------
ANNUAL:  60.6      41.7     51.2   49.68         TIED 14TH COOLEST
        - 1.1     - 1.3    - 1.1  +11.24         5TH WETTEST

RECORDS SET AT QUINCY IN 2008
DATE       RECORD                                OLD RECORD
-----      -------                               -----------
JAN  6:    HIGH TEMPERATURE OF 66                52 SET IN 1987
JAN 29:    HIGH TEMPERATURE OF 60                TIES RECORD SET IN 1988
                                                 (UNOFFICIALLY 63 IN 1914)
FEB  5:    MAXIMUM RAINFALL OF 0.98              0.21 SET IN 1960
FEB 17:    MAXIMUM RAINFALL OF 1.28              0.61 SET IN 1992
APR 28:    LOW TEMPERATURE OF 35                 TIES RECORD SET IN 1979
                                                 (UNOFFICIALLY 34 IN 1928)
JUN  3:    MAXIMUM RAINFALL OF 2.95              0.85 SET IN 1962
JUN:       MAXIMUM MONTHLY RAINFALL OF 9.80      8.45 SET IN 1973
JUL  8:    MAXIMUM RAINFALL OF 2.32              1.60 SET IN 2003
SEP  4:    MAXIMUM RAINFALL OF 1.56              1.02 SET IN 1965
OCT 28:    LOW TEMPERATURE OF 25                 26 SET IN 1957
                                                 (UNOFFICIALLY 17 IN 1925)
NOV  5:    HIGH TEMPERATURE OF 75                73 SET IN 1975
                                                 (UNOFFICIALLY 79 IN 1924)
DEC 26:    HIGH TEMPERATURE OF 62                57 SET IN 1954
                                                 (UNOFFICIALLY 63 IN 1942)
DEC 27:    HIGH TEMPERATURE OF 65                62 SET IN 1982
                                                 (UNOFFICIALLY 70 IN 1946)

 


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