Was July a record wet month?

Heavy storms July 10 caused flooding around the Madison area, including partially submerging this soccer goal along Mineral Point Road near West Towne Mall. In total 6.52 inches of rain has fallen in Madison this month, 2.72 inches above normal. (Photo credit: Barry Adams, State Journal archives)

It seems likely that most of us would consider this month of July to be an exceptionally wet one and, in many ways, that is true.

First of all, we have received measurable rain on 11 days this month and a trace of rain on six other days. Thus, well over half of the days this month have involved precipitation.

In total, 6.52 inches of rain has fallen on Madison this month. With no more precipitation today, that would put us 2.72 inches above normal for July. So, it has been a rainy month – but not everywhere in Wisconsin.

For instance, Milwaukee has totaled only 3.69 inches this month, barely (0.35 inches) above its monthly average. Rhinelander has received only 1.62 inches of rain in July, which is a little more than 2 inches below its normal for the month.

As rainy as it has been in Madison, it has been even worse in La Crosse (7.63 inches, which is 3.78 inches above normal for July) and Chicago (7.68 inches, 4.40 inches above normal).

Of course, anyone who has been outside this month will also recognize it has been a mosquito-heavy month. This is directly related to the rainfall as nearly two dozen species of mosquitoes hatch during the summer, in serial fashion, so a prolonged wet summer tends to result in lots of bugs.

It could all be worse, though. In July 1950, Madison received 10.93 inches of rain, which is the record for the month.

That soggy July is not even the wettest month of the year in Madison, as the all-time wettest month here was August 2007 when 15.18 inches of rain fell.

Category: Meteorology, Seasons

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