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Wet Year Could Overflow into Winter Woes

Out next storm is more wet than white but 2011/ also known as "the wettest year" ever could overflow into big prolems this winter.  While it seems likely that cold temperatures will bring frozen ground and snow... all the rain this year has resulted in high water levels.  When the ground freezes over, the mositure is not just trapped in the soil but the new moisture melting from snow during thaws cannot soak in, and the runoff is instead sent to already high rivers.  The important message is that despite the seasons change, flooding can still happen.  In fact, frozen ground makes it nearly impossible to soak up melting moisture sending the "snow leftovers" into quick runoff.  Consider the wet year we've had in our region and the trouble is easy to spot.

New York City (approaching 70" with 68.81") has had its 2nd wettest year ever (Avg: 49.69")  The state of New Jersey has had its wettest year ever, including the Newark reporting station.  Danbury, CT has had it's wettest year ever.  Below are more cities with their wettest year ever:


Philadelphia, PA: 60.00" Avg: 42.05"
Cleveland, OH: 62.07" Avg: 39.14"
Louisville, KY: 65.70" Avg: 44.54"
Scranton, PA: 56.80" Avg: 37.56"
Evansville, IN: 66.62" Avg: 44.27"

There are more cities topping the rain charts. Here is the State of the Climate releaseed by NOAA. And it all adds up to a lot more than an umbrella parade...The number of billion dollar weather/climate disaster in the US during 2011 rose to 12 events. This record year breaks the previous record of nine billion-dollar weather/climate disasters during a single year, which occurred in 2008. The total combines damage from these 12 events is approximately 52 billion dollars.

While flooding has caused many many headaches all year long, extremely wet soil will freeze into the solid ground in the coming weeks.  Having high soil moisture content going into the winter traps the liquid UNTIL thaws occur... even mid winter thaws could create flooding situations during the winter months.   Winter forecasts predict a cold and snowy winter (not as bad as last winter) but also warn of these potential freeze thaw episodes after an extremely wet year.  Our area remains sensitive to flooding EVEN AS THE GROUND STARTS TO FREEZE!


Posted by WABC on December 7, 2011 in Science , Sports , Travel | Permalink


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