Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Despite deluge, area's rainfall below last year

By William A. Weathers
The Cincinnati Enquirer

There was a simple explanation for the flooding over the weekend in Greater Cincinnati and Butler County, in particular.

"It came down fast, and it came down hard," National Weather Service meteorologist Don Hughes said Monday of the heavy rainfall. "Some places had eight inches or more'' by radar estimates.

Normal monthly rainfall for June in most Tristate areas is 3 to 4 inches, Hughes said. "You doubled that in most places. I'd say that's unusual."

Don't tuck your umbrellas away just yet. There's a chance of showers and thunderstorms today and Thursday, Hughes said.

A tiny bit of good news for golfers and outdoor festival-goers: Friday and Saturday are likely to have sunshine and highs in the low 80s.

That means that, though rain doused attendance at the Newport Italianfest on Riverboat Row last weekend, the Irish should be lucky this weekend in the same spot. The Irish Heritage Festival begins Friday at 5 p.m., with national and local Irish bands, dancing and - of course - Guinness to wash away weather blues.

While it may be difficult for soggy Tristate residents to believe, the area rainfall total for Cincinnati this year - calculated at the airport in Hebron, which last weekend's storms largely bypassed - is less than last year's so far. As of Monday, total 2003 rainfall is 19.24 inches, compared with 25.93 inches for the same 2002 period.

So far this month, there have been 2.25 inches of rain in Cincinnati, compared with 3.19 inches for the same period in June last year. Butler County rainfall is not tallied separately.

Today's Cincinnati forecast calls for mostly cloudy skies with a chance of showers and thunderstorms during the day.


E-mail bweathers@enquirer.com

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