Halloween 2019 broke all-time rainfall records across the Pittsburgh region. With the historic rainfall brought widespread flooding across the Pittsburgh region primarily in the western portions of Allegheny County. Rainfall totals were upwards of 2.5 inches in some places according to radar rainfall estimates. The “official” rainfall at the Pittsburgh National Weather Service recorded 1.98 inches.
Click here for an interactive rainfall and flooding storymap.
I must say, we’ve been getting really good at breaking long-term historical rainfall records these past couple years. Making an annual habit of doing this is probably not a feather worth putting into our rain caps, however.
2018 was the wettest year on record that brought unprecedented flooding and landslides to the county. This year has been a little bit quieter on the flooding front thanks to a somewhat drier August and September. However that shouldn’t take away from the fact 2019 is only 1-inch behind 2018’s record rainfall pace. The record for annual rainfall is 57.83 inches in 2018 and currently we are at 47.28 inches.
Will we break the record again? There’s a chance. Historical monthly average rainfall totals for November and December are 3.23 and 2.85 inches, respectively.
Should we be considering these types of rainfall years the new normal? Maybe, maybe not. But many climate experts say it’s likely.
Two years in a row of breaking historical rainfall records should have us all concerned.