By - Drew Switzer
This Blog was written on June 17th, 2010 and is based on the official climate data from Topeka Billard Airport.
The first half of June, specifically the first 16 days has been marked with some very heavy rainfall. More than a typical June. However, many people don't realize that June is usually a wet month. In fact, over the past 30 years, we have seen more rainfall during the month of June than any other month. Most people think April or May are our wettest months, but June takes the cake when it comes to rainfall. May is the month where we generally have the most severe weather, but heavy rainfall (especially overnight t-storms) is a characteristic of June. Two things come together to make June wetter than any other month. First of all the jet stream is still active enough to push many different storm systems though the area. Secondly, the summertime humidity is starting to build so there is lots of moisture in the atmosphere to get very heavy rainfall. This year we have seen rain on 8 of the first 16 days, and on 4 of those days we had over 1 inch of rain, including over 2 inches of rain on June 13th and June 16th. June 16th brought 2.78" of rain which was a record for that date.
So far, the total for this June is far ahead of average. We have seen officially 7.94" of rain, and stand 5.22" ahead of average. The second half of June is generally a little quieter than the first half as the jet stream moves farther North and we see fewer storm systems moving through Kansas. However, even if we do not see any more rain we would still end the month over 3 inches above average for a typical June. We see 4.88" of rainfall in an average June. Last year was also above average as we saw 6.54" in June.
Of the 7.94" so far this month we have seen 4.4" over the last 5 days and 2.78" yesterday after the ground was already completely saturated, so widespread flash flooding was problematic on Wednesday, June 16th. Many streets flooded in Junction City, Manhattan, Topeka, and Lawrence, among others. Cars were stranded in the water, creeks rose into homes and businesses, and basements flooded. It was a huge inconvenience, but as far as I have heard, everyone made it though safely and we did not have any casualties. That is impressive considering Flash Flooding is the #1 cause of death when it comes to weather situations. I am proud of the people in our area that heeded the warning and followed the advice, "Turn Around, Don't Drown."
So what about you? How much rain have you seen so far this June? How did the flash flooding affect you? Did you have to turn around so you didn't drown?