Harmony, MN sets a record for precipitation in 2018

State Climatologist Pete Boulay says it's an equivalent amount to Baton Rouge's average

Paul and Jordana
January 09, 2019 - 6:19 pm

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120 towns in the Midwest had their wettest year on record in 2018. That included 60.2 inches of rain in Harmony, MN. That was nearly four full inches over the previous state record. State Climatologist Pete Boulay joined Paul and Jordana to say that we’re now comparable to Louisiana.

“Just the simple fact that we now have a site in Minnesota that’s had 60 inches of precipitation in a year, that’s the normal in Baton Rouge. I thought I’d never see it.”

There are multiple factors in the steady increase in rainfall measures, but one stands out above the rest.

“The big difference is we’re missing the drought factor,” said Boulay, “We just don’t see the droughts here in Minnesota, at least not like we’ve had in the past.”

You might think that some sort of mega-rain event might have been involved in setting the record, but that wasn’t the case.

“What made this record last year in Harmony so spectacular is they didn’t have any of those big huge rains,” Boulay said, “It was having 18 days of one inch or more and seven days of two inches or more. There were even a couple of days in early May with three inches or more spaced two days apart.”

With all the talk of record precipitation, Boulay is looking ahead to Spring given the low snow totals so far this winter.

“Anytime we have a brown landscape in January, we start to get a little nervous here in the climate office,” Boulay told Paul and Jordana, “However we had that big rain and snow event at the end of December, so we’ve got an inch-and-a-half of water still sitting out there. So right now our soil moisture is looking really good for the Spring, even if we don’t get much in the way of precip for a good chunk of the winter.”

Listen to the entire interview: