The folks at Iowa Environmental Mesonet put out a fascinating product this morning. In the graphic to the left you can see the 2010 rainfall percentile. The numbers represent the rainfall to date in dozens of areas and how they rank against all other years on record. A 92 means that location has seen more rain in 2010 than 92% of all previous years.
A 100% (and you can see there are a lot of them) mean this is the highest rainfall total from January 1st to August 18th ever recorded at that site. Many areas will flirt with record totals if this keeps up. Despite the flash flooding that destroyed a dam in northeast Iowa and seriously damaged the Iowa State campus earlier this summer, the problems have not been as widespread as what we saw in 2008.
The main reason is all this rain is coming over time. While localized flooding occurs from time to time, we’re not seeing the sudden and widespread heavy rains that triggered those floods 2 years ago.
So once again rainfall and flooding make headlines in Iowa this year, now 2010 is trying to go down in the record books.