January 12, 2012 | Vol. 39, No. 2

Petersburg rainfall hits 166-1/6 inches in 2011

Unofficial rainfall for Petersburg in 2011 was 166-1/6 inches of rain in 2011. Precipitation readings at the National Weather Service (NWS) office at the airport put the year’s total at 126.18 inches.

Petersburg’s amateur weather data collector Doug Welde reported his year-end totals last week. Welde takes rainfall measurements at his home on Dolphin Street and said he measures to the nearest 16th of an inch. He said on a few days this year the rainfall beaker filled-up in a matter of hours and had to be measured, recorded and emptied to accommodate a full day’s rainfall.

He accounts for the 40-inch discrepancy between his measurements and those of the weather service by explaining that Petersburg has microclimates. Weather conditions change dramatically in just short distances across town, and the region.

Elevation changes and locations of mountains can dictate where, and how much, rain will fall.

Welde said August 12 was the wettest day of the year when 6-7/16 inches of rain dumped into his gauge.

Welde compares his numbers with the NWS, and provided some historic numbers from them.

According to the NWS:

Lowest recent annual rainfall was in 1995 at 77.75-inches of rain.

Rainfall in 2007:


Rainfall in 2008:


Rainfall in 2009:


Rainfall in 2010:


Average annual rainfall between 1989 and 2005 was 106.83 according to the NWS data.

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