Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Boston Blasts Rainfall Record
Providence, Portland Pelted

March 31 AM Update: Here are updated March 30 daily and monthly rainfall records set yesterday, followed by additional reports from March 29 (old record and year in parentheses):

Portland ME 2.73"/11.06"
Boston MA 2.93"/14.83" (2nd wettest March)
Hartford CT 1.58"
Providence RI 5.32"/16.32" (wettest all-time month)
Worcester MA 2.43"
Central Park NY NA/10.68"
New York (La Guardia) NA/9.55"
New York (JFK) NA/8.61"
Islip NY NA/9.34"
Bridgeport CT NA/9.98"
Trenton NJ 1.75"

March 29
Caribou ME 1.46" (0.53", 1964)
Bangor ME 1.55" (0.62", 1942)
Norfolk VA 3.00" (1.93", 1991)
Wallops Island VA 2.27" (1.39", 2003)
Cape Hatteras NC 2.61" (2.20", 1990)

Late Evening Update: Here are some more daily and March monthly records (previous amount and year in parentheses):
March monthly
Portland ME 10.09" (9.97", 1953)
New York (La Guardia) 9.18" (8.73", 1953)
New York (JFK) 8.23" (8.17", 1980)
Islip NY 9.14" (8.38", 2001)
Bridgeport CT 9.74" (9.40", 1953)

March 30
Worcester MA 1.99" (1.78", 2001)

March 29
Hartford CT 1.58" (1.20", 1912)
New York (La Guardia) 1.64" (1.57", 1984)
New York (JFK) 1.66" (1.50", 1984)
Islip NY 1.80" (1.35", 2003)
Bridgeport CT 1.60" (1.24", 1970)
Atlantic City NJ 2.69" (1.28", 1984)
The monthly total of 9.71" at Worcester is the second highest for March since records began in 1892; the record is 11.13" in 1936.

Note that rain is still falling in many areas, so some records will need to be revised upward. At 10 pm, Portland had heavy rain with 0.51" in the past hour.

Evening Update: At 5 pm, the Boston monthly rainfall total was 14.19". It was still raining moderately at both Boston and Providence.

2 PM Update: At 2 pm, the Providence monthly total reached 15.39", breaking the all-time record.

Original post:
The National Weather Service a few minutes ago posted an update to the record-smashing rainfall pounding Boston and much of the rest of the Northeast. Yesterday's 1.96" of rain at Boston broke the March 29 daily record of 1.85" set in 1984. As of 1 pm, the total so far today is another 1.73". This brings the monthly total to 13.63", a record for March as well as the entire winter/spring cold season. This month's total is now second only to the 17.09" in a tropical-storm drenched August of 1955. The additional 1-2" of rain expected by 6 pm could raise the monthly amount to near 15". As of 2 pm, Boston is reporting heavy rain with an additonal 0.34" in the last hour. Records in Boston extend back to 1872.

At the nearby Blue Hill Observatory, the monthly total of 18.12" is approaching the all-time monthly record of 18.78" also set in 1955.

The NWS notes that this is now the 3rd episode of excessive rainfall in the region within the last 3 weeks, an unprecedented occurrence in recorded history.

In Providence, RI, yesterday's rainfall total of 3.47" nearly tripled the previous March 29 daily record of 1.19" set in 1931. The 4.31" measured so far today also smashes the old daily record of 2.57". The monthly total so far of 15.31" is just short of the all-time record of 15.38" set in October 2005.

Images (click to enlarge): 24-hour and 30-day rainfall for southern New England ending at 8 am EDT, March 30, from National Weather Service

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