Breaking News
More () »

Tampa Bay and Sarasota's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Tampa Bay and Sarasota, FL | WTSP.com

'When it rains it pours' | US sees wettest 12-month period on record

Precipitation over the last year in the contiguous U.S. was the wettest 12 months in recorded history, dating back to 1895.
Credit: AP
Senior deputy Jeff Farmer with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff office checks the Montecito Creek to make sure it is flowing correctly Thursday, March 22, 2018.

It wasn’t that long ago that it seemed like we were talking about a drought-stricken United States. Now, the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction.

In a sudden shift, rainfall has returned to the contiguous U.S. and as the saying goes, “When it rains it pours."

Recent headlines of flooding across portions of the U.S. comes on the tail end of a record-setting 12-month period for the lower 48. Precipitation over the last year (May 2018 to April 2019) in the contiguous U.S. was the wettest 12 months in recorded history, dating back to 1895. An average of 36.12 inches of rain fell in the past 12 months, which is about six inches above average.

Much of this precipitation was found over the Carolinas from Hurricane Florence. It was a record-setting wet year in the mid-Atlantic, there was a steady flow of moisture into California and now there is a string of flooding events in the central U.S.

Perhaps to no surprise, only 2.5 percent of the contiguous U.S. is now dealing with drought conditions. This compares to 27.7 percent one year ago.

Related: Severe weather possible for Tampa Bay this afternoon

Full Forecast: Click or tap here 

What other people are reading right now:

►Make it easy to keep up-to-date with more stories like this. Download the 10News app now.

Have a news tip? Email desk@wtsp.com, or visit our Facebook page or Twitter feed.