Last year was Baltimore's wettest calendar year on record, but a month into 2019, the region is still raising the bar for the most precipitation in a 365-day period.
There were 73.81 inches of precipitation at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport in the 365 days ending Sunday, according to the National Weather Service.
That is almost 2 inches more than the record-setting precipitation total at BWI in 2018.
Why the discrepancy? It’s because this January has been significantly wetter than January 2018, which was one of only three months last year with below-normal precipitation at BWI.
There was only an inch of precipitation last January, and there has been nearly 3 inches so far this month. So that makes the total for the last 11 months of 2018 and first month of 2019 about two inches wetter than the mark for the 2018 calendar year.
The region likely gradually increased the 365-day precipitation record throughout this month, but the data was not available until now because of the partial federal government shutdown. While the National Weather Service continued forecasting through the shutdown, some of its databases were not accessible.
The record could keep rising, with rain and snow forecast across the region Tuesday.
But that may not continue into February. It would require February 2019 being significantly wetter than February 2018 — when there was more than 5 inches of precipitation at BWI, about 2 inches more than normal.