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Pittsburgh is close to breaking its all-time rainfall record |

Pittsburgh is close to breaking its all-time rainfall record

Matt Rosenberg
Kristina Serafini | Tribune-Review
River water spills over the tip of The Point on Monday, Sept. 10, 2018, following days of heavy rain from the remnants of Tropical Storm Gordon.

Pittsburgh is close to breaking its annual rainfall record.

At 53.45 inches, 2018’s rainfall total at Pittsburgh International Airport is already the second-highest on record for a calendar year, according to the National Weather Service.

And it’s less than 4 inches from the all-time record of 57.41 set in 2004, the year the remnants of Hurricane Ivan wreaked havoc on the area to the tune of 10.06 inches of rain in September of that year alone.

September also has been the wettest month of 2018, coming in at 8.5 inches. Spurred by the remnants of Tropical Storm Gordon, heavy rains in September caused widespread flooding damage and emergencies.

The 3.73 inches of rain dumped on Sept. 9 marked the second-highest daily rainfall total in Pittsburgh history, trailing only the 5.95 inches Ivan dropped on Sept. 17, 2004 — just nine days after the remnants of Tropical Storm Frances left us with 3.6 inches.

Also standing out among the 2018 numbers is the 7.04 inches of rain in February, the wettest February by more than an inch in Pittsburgh history and nearly 5 inches above the February average of 2.39 inches.

Some local farmers were hurt by the 2018 onslaught. And reported landslides were rampant across the region, most notably on Route 30 in East Pittsburgh in April.

To break the all-time annual record, Pittsburgh International would need to see an additional 3.96 inches of rain in December. Showers brought .66 inches last weekend. Some rain is in the long-term forecast for late next week.

The 3.96 inches would be the highest December total since 2012, when Pittsburgh got 5.53 inches of rain.

In the past 100 years, there have been 12 Decembers that saw more than 3.96 inches.

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