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2018 Was The State's Rainiest Year On Record

Last year was Massachusetts' rainiest on record. Here, rain falls at Fenway Park before a World Series game. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Last year was Massachusetts' rainiest on record. Here, rain falls at Fenway Park before a World Series game. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Let's hope you had a good umbrella.

About 61 inches of rain fell on Massachusetts in 2018, the wettest year on record for the state, with 3 feet falling in the second half of the year.

The 2018 mark was more than 16 inches above Massachusetts' 20th-century average, continuing the slight upward trend in the state's annual average precipitation. You can see that trend here:

Massachusetts was not alone in its rainy 2018; several states in the Northeast also had their wettest years.

Rising temperatures associated with climate change will likely continue to increase precipitation in areas already experiencing record rainfall.

2018 was also Massachusetts' 13th-warmest year on record, with an average temperature of 49.5 degrees Fahrenheit. That's 2.6 degrees warmer than the 20th-century average for the state.

Massachusetts' annual temperature average hasn't fallen below the 20th-century mean since 1992. You can see the warming trend in this chart:

The charts above also include local data for Boston, Worcester, the Blue Hill Observatory in Milton and Edgartown on Martha's Vineyard. (The timelines for the data differ, with some Boston locations, for instance, going back to 1873.)

The partial federal government shutdown delayed the release of the 2018 climate data for several weeks.

The government released the data on Tuesday, amid some topsy-turvy weather.

Just days after the polar vortex swung down through the Northeast, Boston tied a record for high Feb. 5 temperature, at 65 degrees.

But a reminder: Weather is not the same as climate.

Related:

Benjamin Swasey Twitter Digital Manager
Ben is WBUR's digital manager. He occasionally reports on economic and transportation policy, climate and social issues, and politics.

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