Region saw wettest May to September period in 92 years

by Kate Evans

The rain kept coming for months and the tri-state area experienced periodic flash flooding in downtown Berkeley Springs and on roads and bridges throughout Morgan County and surrounding counties. So just how much precipitation did we really get during that time?

NOAA Meteorologist Ray Martin from the National Weather Service Baltimore/Washington Weather Forecast Office in Sterling, Virginia confirmed that the region had the wettest May through September since 1926, setting a new rainfall record of 36.38 inches at the Martinsburg airport for those five months.

Martin said that the next highest rainfall amount measured at the airport for May through September since 1926 was 33.88 inches in 1996.

“It blew away the old record,” he said.

Monthly Martinsburg airport rainfall records for September showed it was the third wettest September on record since 1926 with 9.22 inches of rain, Martin said. It was the seventh wettest May with 7.26 inches of rain.

The closest volunteer weather stations Martin found varied in their rainfall amounts to what the Martinsburg airport indicated, showing that much higher rainfall amounts fell locally.

Martin said a Cacapon South volunteer weather station measured 50.97 inches of rain from May through September at Cacapon State Park, which he called “an incredible amount of rain.”

The Cacapon South weather station also measured 16.7 inches of rain in September, which was a record for any calendar month for that station, which has been reporting since 1946 with just a few gaps, Martin noted. It recorded 8.52 inches of rain in May.

A volunteer weather station in Hancock recorded 39.46 inches of rain from May through September. It measured 9.81 inches of rain in September and 5.81 inches of rain in May.