How does this current dry spell measure up to past dry episodes? (Updated 9/20)

It's been a while since southern Wisconsin has seen any rainfall. In fact, the last time most of us saw anything measurable was on August 30. Milwaukee has now reached 21 consecutive days without measurable rainfall, which ranks in the top 30 for consecutive days without measurable rainfall. As of Sep 18th, Madison now has the driest beginning for any September since records began in 1869.  Although three weeks without rain is impressive, a quick look back at the climate records for Madison and Milwaukee show we are still several days away from being in the top 10 for consecutive days without measurable rainfall.  

There is a slight chance of measurable rainfall starting Sunday night into early next week, which could bring an end to the consecutive dry stretch.

Here are the top 30 stretches in Milwaukee and Madison for consecutive days without measurable rain.  The list below does not represent consecutive days without rainfall, but days without at least 0.01 inch of rain. 

 

Milwaukee Area
Madison Area
Consecutive Days
Consecutive Days
Precipitation = T or 0.00 in.
Precipitation = T or 0.00 in.
Years: 1871-2009

Years: 1869-2009

Rank # Days End Date   Rank # Days End Date

1

36

2/10/1919

 

1

49

5/19/1877

2

35

1/6/1940

 

2

40

6/21/1988

3

29

11/15/1952

 

3

36

2/22/1877

4

28

3/29/1910

 

4

34

12/14/1888

5

27

11/1/1944

 

5

32

9/17/1893

6

26

12/4/1936

 

 

 

10/31/1889

 

 

11/10/1903

 

7

29

11/15/1952

8

25

11/21/1908

 

 

 

1/4/1944

 

 

9/27/1891

 

9

28

3/29/1910

10

24

4/2/1999

 

10

27

2/2/1919

 

 

1/26/1942

 

11

26

11/10/1903

 

 

7/27/1892

 

 

 

1/27/1891

13

23

10/14/1957

 

 

 

10/20/1876

 

 

1/4/1944

 

 

 

4/12/1874

 

 

9/9/1933

 

 

 

2/26/1873

 

 

11/9/1915

 

16

25

10/30/1944

 

 

9/5/1902

 

 

 

12/31/1913

 

 

1/14/1879

 

 

 

9/27/1891

19

22

9/3/1953

 

 

 

2/26/1870

 

 

11/2/1948

 

 

 

11/3/1869

 

 

9/7/1888

 

21

24

2/21/1899

 

 

2/17/1882

 

22

23

7/19/2002

23

21

9/19/2009

 

 

 

10/31/1964

 

 

10/4/1989

 

 

 

12/19/1959

 

 

11/25/1976

 

 

 

10/14/1957

 

 

1/7/1964

 

 

 

11/18/1953

 

 

1/19/1902

 

 

 

10/9/1897

 

 

11/5/1895

 

 

 

5/1/1895

 

 

2/21/1877

 

 

 

6/15/1894

30

20

9/23/1966

 

 

 

7/27/1873


End Date is the last day of the run.

Here are the top ten driest Septembers for Milwaukee and Madison:

           Milwaukee                                     Madison
Rank    Amount (in)    Year(s)          Rank     Amount (in)     Year
1 0.02 1979 1 0.11 1979
2 0.18 1891 2 0.18 1932
3 0.24 2004 3 0.38 1891
4 0.30 1956 4 0.47 1871
5 0.36 1952 5 0.49 1952
6 0.37 1943 6 0.50 1976
7 0.48 1966/1877 7 0.51 1966
8 0.50 1974 8 0.58 1905
9 0.55 1940 9 0.64 1877
10 0.57 1871 10 0.78 1908

 



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