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Home arrow News arrow Local News arrow 4 damp days kept 2013 out of record book

4 damp days kept 2013 out of record book

Those four days — June 19, and Sept. 3, 4 and 29 — accounted for almost one-third of the total rainfall in 2013


By Jayson Jacoby

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2013 started dry and ended parched in Baker County.

In between wasn’t all that soggy, either.

Except for four days.

They made up barely 1 percent of the year, but those four days had an outsized effect.

Had all four been rain-free, 2013 would have ranked as the second-driest year at the Baker City Airport since at least 1943.

Instead, those four days accounted for 2.57 inches of rain — almost one-third of the year’s total.

The quartet:

• June 19 — 1.57 inches. This was the wettest day in Baker City since Aug. 31, 1984, when a thunderstorm drenched the airport with 2.29 inches.

• Sept. 29 — .52 inches

• Sept. 4 — .25 inches

• Sept. 3 — .23 inches

The rainfall for those four days, though prodigious by local standards, wasn’t enough to buoy the year’s total to average.

At 8.94 inches, the year’s total was about 12 percent below the annual average of 10.17 inches.

It was also the second straight year with below-average precipitation.

The previous three years, by contrast, were all wetter than average.

Similar trends are apparent over more than half a century of rainfall records.

The comparatively damp stretch of 2009-11 was preceded by three consecutive years with below-average precipitation.

And that dry spell followed three wetter-than-usual years.

Add enough years, even for a statistic as inherently unpredictable as rainfall, and the results tend to even out, of course.

Yet there have been significant differences in the relative dampness of the past several decades in Baker City.

The period 2000-09 was the driest, with an annual average of 9.28 inches.

The 1980s were the wettest, with a yearly average of 11.44 inches.

By far the most moist period, though, was the eight years spanning the 1970s and 1980s.

During that stretch — 1977 through 1984 — the average annual precipitation was 13.23 inches.

The period includes the wettest year on record — 15.76 inches in 1978 — and the third- and fourth-wettest years.

The longest arid period was four consecutive years with below-average precipitation. That has happened twice: 1973-76, and 1985-88.

Neither of those was the driest four-year stretch, however.

The annual average for the period 1999-2002 was 7.78 inches. That span includes the driest year on record at the airport — 5.63 inches in 2002, as well as the third- and fourth-driest years. The one “wet” year in the period, 2000, barely exceeded the annual average, at 10.48 inches.

 

PRECIPITATION

BAKER AIRPORT

YEAR PRECIP

1955 10.32

1956 12.24

1957 12.09

1958 10.73

1959 8.99

1960 10.38

1961 8.83

1962 11.01

1963 9.05

1964 14.52

1965 9.79

1966 9.30

1967 8.75

1968 11.20

1969 10.88

1970 13.79

1971 12.17

1972 10.27

1973 9.37

1974 8.05

1975 8.59

1976 8.75

1977 12.73

1978 15.76

1979 10.32

1980 13.37

1981 13.86

1982 12.02

1983 13.36

1984 14.39

1985 8.71

1986 9.79

1987 8.16

1988 9.68

1989 11.01

1990 8.77

1991 10.69

1992 7.84

1993 8.63

1994 7.98

1995 11.97

1996 10.56

1997 8.85

1998 13.98

1999 7.36

2000 10.48

2001 7.64

2002 5.63

2003 12.03

2004 10.18

2005 11.55

2006 8.96

2007 7.08

2008 8.80

2009 10.41

2010 12.87

2011 10.66

2012 8.34

2013 8.94 

 
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