Virginia Gets 17th Most Summer Rain in U.S.

In May 2021, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released their decennial U.S. Climate Normals data, which provides data on typical climate conditions for locations all over the U.S. The conclusions of the data are clear: in recent years, much of the United States has grown both warmer and wetter on average.

Temperature and precipitation data dating back 120 years reveals that much of the increase for both measures has taken place just in the last three decades. Temperatures in the contiguous U.S. are more than 1 degree higher on average since 1995 compared to the 1901–2000 mean. Precipitation levels show much more variance year-to-year, but have gradually trended upwards compared to the historical record in recent years.

Together, warmer and wetter air produce more extreme weather events. 2019 was the wettest year in the U.S. since 1973 and saw 14 weather and climate disasters. In 2020, that number grew to 22—a new record, topping the previous record of 16 set in 2011 and tied in 2017.

Some regions experience the effects of these trends disproportionately based on geographic and environmental factors. Much of the western U.S. is desert, where warming trends have made the region more arid, whereas the southeast is warm and humid and has gotten wetter over time.

The analysis found that historically, Virginia experiences 4.41 inches of rain between May and July each year, compared to the national average of 3.02 inches. In 2020, Virginia had 4.68 inches of rain during the same span— a little over a quarter of an inch more than average. Out of the 48 contiguous U.S. states, Virginia gets the 17th most summer rain. So if you are one that thinks it rains a lot, Virginia as a hold does get a little more than its fair share.

For more information, a detailed methodology, and complete results, you can find the original report on Porch’s website:

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