North-central/Midwest U.S. Wettest on Record 2019

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Highlight: The North-central/Midwest U.S. was wettest on record in 2019.

Fig. 1: Regions of the U.S. precipitation rank for 2019.

Discussion: The North-central to Midwest U.S. observed the wettest year in the 125-year climatology in 2019. The historic wet pattern of 2019 was preceded by equally wet conditions as the Upper Midwest ranked wettest while the Midwest was second wettest in 2018. In 2017 each region averaged in the top 25% wettest on record. Last year the stormiest months were February ranking wettest on record followed closely by May, September and October each ranking 3rd or 4th wettest on record in the Midwest U.S. The upper air pattern for 2017-2019 reveals a persistent upper trough located on the southwest shore of Hudson Bay with a strong subtropical ridge across the Gulf of Mexico region. In-between the two dominant upper air features a vigorous storm track has persisted much of the past 3 years with increasing intensity.