So far in 2011, Louisville and Lexington have been just about as wet as any previous year. The charts below graphically show the rainfall for 2011 through May 31st. They also indicate our accumulated precipitation compared with other well-known wet years as well as with normal values (red) for this time of year.
The first graph (below) shows rainfall for Louisville through May 31st, 2011 (deep blue). Precipitation for 1937 (magenta) is also shown through the end of May. In 1937, a year in which the Ohio River had extensive flooding, the highest amounts of rain fell during January before beginning to level off through the spring. Another year in which the Ohio River flooded was 1997, however, this year has surpassed 1997 as the wettest year. Therefore, a green line for the wettest year no longer exists on this graph as it coincides with the blue line, indicating that this present year, 2011, is the wettest year thus far.
This second graph shows rainfall for Lexington so far through May 31st (deep blue). Note how 2011 compares with 1950 (green) and 1937 (magenta). In 1937 and 1950, Lexington had excessive rains in January as well.
This final image below shows precipitation for Bowling Green through May 31st (deep blue). In 1937 (magenta), Bowling Green had an amazing 21 inches of rain in January! This amount exceeded January totals for both Lexington and Louisville. The green trace shows the wettest year for Bowling Green through May, which was 1935.