A Capital City Fire/Rescue ambulance splashes through a flooding area of Riverside Drive on their way to a call on Jan. 1.

A Capital City Fire/Rescue ambulance splashes through a flooding area of Riverside Drive on their way to a call on Jan. 1.

Weather record expected today

Juneauites will know today whether 2015 will be a record-breaking wet year.

Entering the last day of the year, the capital city has seen 84.76 inches of precipitation, just 0.39 inches shy of the all-time wettest year, 1991.

A normal year has about 62 inches of precipitation.

With Southcentral Alaska already slammed by a storm that on Wednesday was headed Juneau’s direction, meteorologists predicted the record will be set on this, the last day of the year.

“The computer models and everything we’re looking at is saying we should get enough rainfall unless this front completely stalls out,” meteorologist Geri Swanson said from the National Weather Service office on Mendenhall Loop Road.

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 has seen only 2.22 inches of precipitation, though 16.4 inches of snow has fallen this month, two more than normal.

Precipitation includes rain and the water content of melted snow. This month’s snow has been dry and powdery, delighting skiers at Eaglecrest Ski Area but not impacting the weather gauge significantly.

This December has had less than half the precipitation of a normal December, which sees more than five and a half inches of precipitation.

According to Weather Service forecasts, sunny skies Wednesday were expected to give way to clouds and rain overnight in Juneau, with heavy rain continuing through the final hours of the old year.

The clouds were expected to blot out similarly unsettled weather in space, where a solar storm bound for Earth promised significant aurorae on the eve of New Year’s Eve.

A momentary break in the clouds creates a double rainbow over downtown Juneau on Oct. 19.

A momentary break in the clouds creates a double rainbow over downtown Juneau on Oct. 19.

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