Catonsville set a new Maryland record for annual precipitation in 2018: nearly 85 inches, meteorologists confirm.
Until now, Maryland did not have an official precipitation record within National Centers for Environmental Information documentation of state-by-state climate extremes. Totals as high as 78 inches had been reported, but never thoroughly vetted, in northern Carroll County, Towson and at Catoctin Mountain Park.
But last year, there were 10 reports around the state exceeding those marks.
Baltimore's record books are drenched as a historically wet year continues to wreak havoc. After downpours Dec. 15, the total for 2018 reached 68.82 inches. More rain is forecast later in the week of Dec. 17.
Operated by a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration contractor with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in meteorology, the gauge measured 84.56 inches across the calendar year. That included 9.47 inches of rainfall during the May 27 flooding, a measurement meteorologists said stood out even among many extraordinary precipitation reports that day.
A committee dedicated to reviewing state climate extremes investigated and voted unanimously to adopt the reading as Maryland’s first extreme precipitation record. The NCEI made the record official this month.