A bird flies by on the sort of gray day typical of December 2020 in Juneau. While there was persistent precipitation this year, Juneau is poised to fall several inches short of the record. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

A bird flies by on the sort of gray day typical of December 2020 in Juneau. While there was persistent precipitation this year, Juneau is poised to fall several inches short of the record. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

Despite rainy year, a new precipitation record is unlikely in 2020

More rain and snow expected this week

Alaska’s capital city and all of Southeast received extraordinary amounts of precipitation in 2020. But, as the end of the year approaches, it doesn’t look like a new record will be set.

According to Greg Spann, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Juneau, 76.61 inches of precipitation has fallen at the Juneau International Airport so far in 2020. During an average year, 62.27 inches of precipitation are recorded. For the purposes of the calculation, precipitation includes rain and melted snow.

While some rain and snow is forecast for Monday night and Tuesday, the 1991 record of 85.15 inches is likely to stand.

“The system coming in doesn’t look that impressive,” Spann said. He noted that there’s always a chance more precipitation could materialize, but the record is unlikely to be broken.

“It’s definitely been a rainy year,” he said. “This summer didn’t feel like much of a summer.”

Indeed, communities across Southeast Alaska were inundated with rain and snow. Juneau fell just an inch short of recording its all-time wettest summer.

“Ketchikan has received 174.68 inches of precipitation this year,” Spann said. He added that average precipitation in Ketchikan is 141.25 inches.

Looking forward to the next three months, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration long-term forecast predicts below normal levels of precipitation and below average temperatures.

Contact Dana Zigmund at (907)308-4891 or Dana.Zigmund@juneauempire.com.

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