Juneau nears the mark for wettest year

If it were snow, you’d have to crawl out a second-story window.

Juneau received just over a foot of precipitation in November, its second-wettest in recorded history. With one month left in 2015, Juneau is 2.61 inches away from its wettest year ever.

Through midnight on the morning of Dec. 1, Juneau has seen 82.54 inches of precipitation (rain and melted snow). The record is 85.15 inches, set in 1991. Juneau gets 5.84 inches of precipitation in an average December, but this year has been anything but average. January and July saw record-high precipitation, April was double normal, and March, June and August were all above normal.

With a wet-weather trend firmly in place, it seems all but certain that 2015 will be the wettest year since accurate record-keeping began in 1943 at Juneau International Airport.

The airport is Juneau’s official measuring point, but it tends to be drier than many other locations in town. In downtown Juneau, where scattered records exist as far back as 1890, the wettest year on record is 1939, which saw 119.48 inches of rain. Through midnight Dec. 1 this year, 113.4 inches have been recorded downtown.

At the airport and downtown, if the year ended today, it would still be the second-wettest since record-keeping began.

In November, Juneau received its first significant snowfall of the year — 16.9 inches for the month — but temperatures stayed high after one weeklong spell of cold weather.

According to records kept by the National Weather Service, temperatures at the airport averaged 36.1 degrees, 2.7 degrees warmer than the norm for November. On Nov. 21, the high temperature tied a record for the date at 48 degrees.

The Weather Service is forecasting a brief break Wednesday in the current stretch of rainy days, but rain is expected to return by Thursday.

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