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The Impact of a Rainy August . . . For Some

tampa flood

With August over, and much of the weather talk for the past month centered around rain – who got, who needs more of it, or who got way too much of it – we wanted to see who really got the most impact from August rain.
9-2 30 day pct of normal

Now, in this case, impact could be measured in two ways – either in terms of inches above normal or percent above normal – and to make data collection easier, we considered cities of at least 50,000 people.

9-2 dep. from avg.

First up is percent above normal, which is observed rainfall for the month of August, divided by the average amount for August. This method shows how rainy a place was in August. There are some surprises in the Top Five – namely Seattle having the highest percent above normal, at 373%. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, the Pacific Northwest is still in severe and extreme drought conditions, yet Seattle’s Seattle-Tacoma International Airport observed 3.28″ of rain (the normal for August is 0.88″).

9-2 US Drought monitor

Which is why the second category – inches above normal – is more of an impact, especially when it comes to breaking a drought. This is where the usual suspects for rain come to the forefront. Every city in the Top Five broke records for rainfall during the month of August – including the winner, Orlando, which was 8.73″ above normal – narrowly beating out Tampa (8.70″ above normal).
August proved to be a very rainy month, but in some, isolated spots. Overall, when looking at the big drought picture, areas that really do need the rain (such as much of the West), still have a long ways to go before they get to what they need to make a dent in their droughts.

For WeatherNation:  Meteorologist, Jason Cerjak
(Headline image: Pasco County)

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