- Global warming or climate change continues to stir controversy in many circles.
- Proponents and deniers can't seem to find much to agree on.
- Farm Press Contributing Editor Logan Hawkes examines some of the numbers that keep stirring the pot, so to speak.
Despite a “near normal” national precipitation average, regional precipitation outcomes varied wildly. Texas, ravaged by exceptional drought for most of 2011, had its driest year on record. In contrast, seven states in the Ohio Valley and Northeast, including Indiana, Kentucky, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, had their wettest year on record.
The past nine years have been particularly wet across the Northeast region as well. Since 2003, the annual precipitation for the region is 48.96 inches, 7.88 inches above the 20th century average. Precipitation averaged across the U.S. is increasing at a rate of about 0.18 inches per decade.
Across the northern U.S., ten states were record wet, and an additional 11 states had spring precipitation totals ranking among their top ten wettest. These precipitation extremes, combined with meltwater from a near-record snow pack, contributed to historic flooding along several major rivers across the central United States.