2011 vs 2012, so far, so wet (and good)!May 12th, 2012 at 8:48 pm by David Mazza under Weather
I did some fun nerdy number crunching this evening and found some pretty impressive stats on our rainfall so far this year. Through today we have received 17.67 inches of rain at Camp Mabry, and 20.45 inches out at the airport (ABIA). Both of these numbers are well above normal, Mabry at +7″, and ABIA at +10″ for the year. The new drought monitor that comes out on Thursday morning will include all the rainfall that we saw the last few days, but will most likely still show dry conditions across a good portion of our area. What is important to note is that we are battling the effects of a long term drought that our area was in. Over a period of 3 months last year from July 1-Sept 30, we picked up 0.06″ of rainfall at ABIA, and 0.23″ at Mabry. Then we also clocked what seemed like a million days of 100+ degree heat during that time period. These kinds of things really accelerate a drought as they did last year. So are big rainfalls of 2012 are slowly chipping away at the drought.
Below is a comparison of rainfall from 2011 to 2012 for Camp Mabry. So far this year we have received almost 11 inches more rainfall than we did up to this same day last year. Now to be fair, we did have 1 extra day this year, but to equal things out, I included today (May 12th) for both years. Clearly we didn’t see any rain today (5/12/12), but on May 12th of 2011 it was the single wettest day of the year at both Austin locations. In fact, at Camp Mabry, we saw 2.96″ of rain on 5/12/11, which was more rainfall than we saw in 10 other MONTHS in 2011! At ABIA we received a more modest 1.66″ on 5/12/11, which tallied a higher total than 7 other MONTHS at that location in 2011. Ok, so maybe I skewed the data to make 2011 look a little wetter to this point, but whatever, 2012 is still winning by a large margin.
So far this year we have received 17.67″ of rain at Mabry, it took us until December 15th of last year to hit that total. Also, our total so far this year is roughly 7″ above normal, as compared to last year when we were almost 4″ below normal, an 11″ swing.
The numbers for ABIA are almost more impressive, as we have seen 20.45″ of rain so far this year, compared to only 6.42″ through the same time period last year. The 2011 reading though May 12th was about 4″ below normal, where as in 2012 we are about 10″ above normal for rainfall so far. That is a 14″ difference in rainfall so far. If you want to know how long it took in 2011 to reach the 20.45″ mark….well we never hit it! In fact, if you include all of 2011, and “borrow” the first 25 days of 2012, you finally hit the 20.45″ mark at ABIA.
This is all good news so far this year for rainfall, but we need it to continue. If we were to cut off the rainfall for the rest of the year at ABIA, 2012 would still technically be wetter than 2011. However, if we closed the year with 7.5 straight months without rain, we would probably be in a worse drought than in 2011. Hopefully Mother Nature will continue to give us well needed rain to help keep the soil moist and fill the lakes and rivers back to normal levels!