Summer rainfall following climatology
Rainfall patterns so far this summer have followed climatology in our local area. According to the Climate Prediction Center, climatology is "scientifically defined as weather conditions averaged over a period of time, and is a branch of the atmospheric sciences."
What is the rainfall climatology of our region?
- The wettest month of the year in our region is May, when normal monthly rainfall at Paducah peaks at 4.75 inches. Spring storm systems and their associated cold fronts bring frequent thunderstorms. Strong solar heating contributes to instability needed for thunderstorms.
- As the summer progresses, monthly rainfall normally decreases. The average position of the jetstream moves north to the Canadian border region. This often places our region under a ridge of high pressure aloft. Frontal passages become less frequent, and their associated thunderstorms miss our region.
- By August, the normal monthly rainfall at Paducah decreases to 2.99 inches. This is statistically the driest month of the year.
- Summertime thunderstorms in our region can be prolific rain producers. The tropical humidity we become accustomed to in the summer leads to intense thunderstorm rainfall rates. In addition, weak steering winds in the upper levels of the atmosphere result in slow-moving or stationary thunderstorms. Rainfall rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour are not uncommon.
- Some of the worst flash floods in our region have occurred in July, August, and September:
July 19-29, 2001: Day after day of slow-moving thunderstorm complexes
July 16, 2004: Evansville Flash Flood
September 12, 2006: Evansville Flash Flood
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