The contiguous United States experienced the wettest 12-month period ever recorded, finds the latest report from NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information. According to NOAA, the average precipitation across the lower 48 states for July 2018 to June 2019 was 37.86 inches, which is 7.90 inches above average and reached a historic high. The earlier all-time 12-month record was 37.72 inches and occurred from June 2018 to May 2019.
As usual with water, too much or too little has consequences. For instance, just a few days earlier NOAA reported estimates that the 2019 Gulf of Mexico dead zone would be large (about the size of Massachusetts) due to heavy spring rains in the Mississippi River basin. This has borne out as excessive water and nutrients from the river has triggered toxic blue-green algal bloom outbreaks on the Gulf Coast, forcing the state of Mississippi to shut down all of its beaches. [NOAA]