2010 Summer Rain for Wisconsin Breaks a Record

Wisconsin State Climatology Bulletin
Record Summer Rains for Wisconsin, and More…

Wisconsin State Climatology Office - Edward Hopkins & John Young, Director,   3 September 2010

Wisconsin has established a new record in 2010 for the average statewide summer rainfall:18.65 inches. This top rank is based upon summer (June-August) data for the past 116 years.  The old average statewide summer rainfall amount was 16.24 inches set back in 1980.  The complete listing can be found below the Wisconsin base map.

Within the state, the three central climate zones placed first in rainfall as well, along with the northeast. The three southern zones and north-central climate zones had rains ranking second wettest.  The northwestern zone ended its persistent drought with a 4th wettest total.  The all-time greatest summer records at individual locations were broken at the National Weather Service office near Sullivan, and three other southern sites.

The extensive, prolonged rainy summer was interrupted by a long pause during August in the eastern third of the state. Despite that interruption, statewide 2010 summer precipitation still averaged at least 50% above normal for most counties.

Summer temperatures averaged a bit above normal, particularly at night, due to abnormally high humidity levels.  The combination of these conditions produced energy for frequent heavy rains, strong storms, and an unusually large count of 40 tornadoes, with only four of them reaching the damaging EF2 level. This large number is nearly twice the modern normal number, and ranks 2010 as the third most active summer in recent decades.

Below is a map showing the Climate Divisions across Wisconsin:

WI Climate Division Map

Below is a listing of the Top-10 divisional averages across Wisconsin for rainfall (inches) in the months of June-July-August

For statewide:
2010 18.65
1980 16.24
1993 15.92
1978 15.90
1905 15.80
1924 15.39
1940 15.29
1952 15.29
1999 15.29
1990 15.17  

for NW Wis (Div 1)
1905 18.00
1951 17.85
1999 17.80
2010 17.58
1914 17.55
1952 17.32
1945 17.17
1972 16.99
1978 16.93
1935 16.76

for NC Wis (Div 2)
1905 18.70
2010 18.47
1978 17.60
1914 17.51
1980 17.05
1938 16.32
1968 16.32
1952 16.18
1972 16.11
1953 16.07

for NE Wis (Div 3)
2010 15.57
1980 15.11
1905 15.03
1940 15.00
1999 14.80
1996 14.73
1990 14.61
1951 14.58
1924 14.37
1952 14.21

for WC Wis (Div 4)
2010 19.45
1990 18.79
1993 18.65
1980 17.79
1978 17.70
1968 16.33
2000 16.25
1905 16.20
2002 16.04
2007 16.04

for C Wis (Div 5)
2010 20.26
1940 19.72
1993 18.82
1980 17.01
1999 16.28
1990 15.72
2000 15.51
1905 14.89
1994 14.87
1924 14.84

for EC Wis (Div 6)
2010 17.01
1940 15.54
1990 14.51
1980 14.37
1993 13.99
1956 13.41
2008 13.13
1999 13.12
1986 12.84
1975 12.80

for SW Wis (Div 7)
2007 23.94
2010 22.79
1993 22.57
1924 20.13
1902 18.12
2000 18.02
1940 17.91
1981 17.56
1998 17.55
1990 17.44

for SC Wis (Div 8)
2007 20.16
2010 19.21
1993 18.47
1940 18.30
2008 18.17
1980 17.43
1938 17.13
1924 16.98
1952 16.96
1950 16.80

for SE Wis (Div 9)
1954 18.71
2010 18.07
2007 17.11
1940 16.79
1938 16.78
1952 16.03
1972 15.82
1978 15.59
2008 15.38
1977 14.98

Below is a listing of the Top-20 Wisconsin rainfall amounts for the three summer months of June-July-August for individual locations:

1 GAYS MILLS                    30.27 2007
2 CUBA CITY 2 NW 30.05 1993
3 VIROQUA 30.01 2007
4 RICHLAND CTR 29.35 2007
5 MEDFORD 28.30 1905
6 SOLON SPRINGS 28.07 1999
7 REEDSBURG 27.95 2010 x
8 PRAIRIE DU CHIEN 27.91 2007
9 LA FARGE 27.83 2010 x
10 LA FARGE 27.79 2007
11 GENOA DAM 8 27.03 2007
12 GENOA DAM 8 26.67 2010 x
13 WESTBY 3ENE 26.62 2007
T14 SULLIVAN 3SE (NWS OFFICE) 26.44 2010 x
T14 PLATTEVILLE 26.44 1993
16 LANCASTER 4 WSW 26.42 1993
17 HANCOCK EXP FARM 26.35 1940
18 DODGEVILLE 26.32 2007
19 DODGEVILLE 26.26 1993
20 STANLEY 25.90 1980
The listing above includes data from only official sites.
Unofficially, there were some locations in southern Wisconsin that had 2010 summer rainfall amounts of 27 to 29 inches. 


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