August 2012 Starts Out Much Like August 2011

Wednesday’s Downpours Bring Reminders Of Last Year’s Wet Weather

When I saw the tremendous cumulus clouds and darkening skies, and when I heard the radio reports of heavy rain around the area amidst the claps of thunder, I thought to myself about August of last year.  Will this August will measure up the tremendous rainfall amounts that last August had? Could it be “deja vu all over again,” like the famous philosopher and sage Yogi Berra once said.

In August 2011, there was almost 16 inches of rain recorded at the GWC WX Station in South Plainfield.  Ten of those inches came before Hurricane Irene came up the coast to cause trouble late in the month. There are a few similarities between the weather prior to August 2011 and the weather prior to August 2012. Like this year, the month of July 2011 was very warm with a number of 90 degree plus days.  In addition, the first few days of August 2011 had its share of heavy rainfall.

However, the New Jersey climate over the first six months of 2011 was much different than the first six months of this year. Coming into this month, there has been approximately 15 and three-quarters of an inch of rain here in Northwestern Middlesex County.  There has been some bouts of drought during the course of this year.  By contrast, last year was much wetter by this time thanks to a very snowy winter and wet spring.

This year, there was virtually no precipitation from the end of February to nearly the end of April.  Then, after a break of about two months, things dried up again from mid-June to mid-July.  The last 16 days of July 2012 saw ten days of measurable rainfall totaling 2.63 inches, which was over 98 percent of the month’s total rainfall.  So, while Wednesday’s rain was a blessing, past Augusts remind us that the rainfall could be a harbinger of bad things to come.