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Spring floods

A truck drives through water covering Locust Point Road in Monroe Township in March after heavy rain caused flooding in low lying areas across the region.

If you could sum up 2018 in central Pennsylvania in one word, it would probably be “wet.”

Storms seemed to put a damper on outdoor plans all year, soaking Harrisburg International Airport with 38.19 inches of precipitation through July 30, 2018, nearly 15 inches more than the historical average, according to the National Weather Service. For a while, 2019 was actually keeping pace or even exceeding 2018’s rainfall totals in some areas.

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But in 2018, it was the last week of July that opened the floodgates. HIA received more than 7 inches of rain in a four-day span from July 22 to July 25 last year, according to ABC27 meteorologist Adis Juklo. Fortunately, those dangerous totals that flooded streams and basements and nearly washed out events like the Shippensburg Community Fair haven’t repeated themselves this July.

“This month, a ride of high pressure has kept most of the region dry and hot,” Juklo said Wednesday on an ABC27 broadcast.

As a result, 2019’s precipitation totals at HIA as of July 30 were about 8 inches below 2018, according to the National Weather Service. Still, we’re hardly having a drought, with the approximately 30 inches of rain received this year almost 7 inches above average.

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The Carlisle Water Plant had received somewhat more rain this year, with 37.88 inches through July 30, as recorded by the National Weather Service. An NWS representative said he did not have reliable data to compare Carlisle’s total with averages from previous years.

Juklo said he expects the region to receive close to average rainfall in August. That would be a little more than 3 inches.

ABC27 predicts scattered afternoon thunderstorms Friday as a front stalls over the area. Otherwise, the next week looks to be relatively dry with seasonal highs in the mid-80s. 

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Daniel Walmer covers public safety for The Sentinel. You can reach him by email at dwalmer@cumberlink.com or by phone at 717-218-0021.

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