Juneau comes up just shy of precipitation record

JUNEAU — Alaska’s capital city came up just short of setting a new mark for wettest year on record.

The National Weather Service says Juneau ended 2015 with 84.96 inches of precipitation — 0.19 inches shy of the record set in 1991. Records for the Juneau airport location date to 1936.

The city’s precipitation total was still well ahead of the third wettest year, which meteorologist Geri Swanson says was 1992, when there was 79.3 inches of precipitation.

Light rain was falling on the first day of the new year Friday.

A normal year has about 62 inches of precipitation.

At the start of the month, it appeared Juneau would break its wet-weather record with days to spare. Instead, December was a surprise, even for a surprising year. Through Wednesday, the capital city had seen only 2.22 inches of precipitation, though 16.4 inches of snow had fallen that month, two more than normal.

December’s snow had been dry and powdery, delighting skiers at Eaglecrest Ski Area but not impacting the weather gauge significantly. Overall the month saw less than half the precipitation of a normal December (five and a half inches of precipitation).

• Empire reporter James Brooks contributed to this report.

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