Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Big Showdown: June 2014 precipitation versus the aging, undisputed champ

June 2014 challenges June 1874's longstanding precipitation title, for the rest of the month, at the MSP airport. With only .83" to go, does June 2014 have enough left in the tank to get it done?
In what I am billing, for no reason, as a battle between then and now, between antiquity and modernity, between the old guard and the new guard, June of 2014 is challenging June of 1874 to a title fight, for the June Precipitation-at-Minneapolis belt. The title fight is taking place, of course, in Minneapolis, at the airport.

For background, you can see that June 2014 has been very wet in Minnesota. Just look at the two images below, courtesy of the Cli-MATE tools at the Midwest Regional Climate Center. Much of Minnesota has had over 6 inches of rain (left), commonly 200% of normal. Friggin' wet.

Not surprisingly, this is part of a wet pattern regionally. See below.

And in Minneapolis, where I live, this wet pattern has put many of us (or is it just me?) right on the edges of our seats. Of course, extreme weather brings with it floods, basement troubles, people intentionally kayaking over our enormous urban waterfall, among other hazards and misfortunes. But statistically, a month like this gets my inner dork all worked up and ready for a showdown. And a showdown we have.

So, in the blue corner is our challenger, coming in at 10.85 inches through the 26th, June 2014!  In the red corner, hailing from a time before internets, cars, and most modern scientifically-accepted theories, measuring 11.67 inches in the bucket, we have the undisputed NCDC, NWS, MNSCO champion of June Precipitation at Minneapolis...June of 1874! (cheers, boos)

Now, I gotta tell you, this is going to be a great match. June 2014 has brought a lot of excitement already, and has been working hard, showing a lot of hustle. It only took about 8 hours on the 19th to move from around 26th place into 2nd place. Fancying itself a modern fighter, June 2014 has been calling out the Champ, with some of its taunts making the rounds on social media. So nobody would accuse this month of lacking heart and skill. But does it have what it takes to be number 1?

Supporters of June 1874 don't think so. That month really has not done much in 140 years, and some may say it is old-fashioned, outdated, or even resting on its laurels. Yet its fans will remind you June 1874 has remained largely unchallenged throughout the record. They will show you the table below, from the Minnesota State Climatology Office, and make the point that until this year, only 1990 had come within 2 inches of its mark, that it has been a true champion, standing all alone, without any true peers. And, for good measure, they will remind us that 1874 went on to kick off what was far and away the coldest winter on record too.

Top Ten June 
Precipitation Totals
in the Twin Cities 

Rank Value (in) Year
1.   11.67      1874
2.   10.85      2014*
3.    9.82      1990
4.    9.00      1897
5.    8.63      1914
6.    8.43      1920
7.    8.30      2002
8.    7.99      1975
9.    7.95      1984
10.   7.80      1946
*through June 27 

With rain and storms expected for the last few days of the month, it is clear this will be a match for the ages.

No comments:

Post a Comment