MIAMI — If you think it's been a really wet year locally, you are right.
After receiving 9.61 inches of rain over the past 30 days, Miami's yearly total is 53.62 inches — with December just starting.
That's 9.51 above yearly average and 15.45 inches more than all of 2014.
Credit a really strong El Niño with the current soggy weather pattern, according to Gary McManus, state climatologist with the Oklahoma Mesonet/Oklahoma Climatological Survey.
“It's sorta what we expected,” McManus said. “Whether it's worse or better (than predicted) depends on the eye of the beholder. The agricultural folks thinks it's just fine. People that are worried about flooding down in southeastern Oklahoma are thinking its pretty much worse.”
McManus said the current El Niño is is one of the strongest on record dating back to 1950, rivaling the 1997-98 super El Niño in its strength.
He said its expected to peak in the next month, then slowly fade away.
“But with all this rich tropical moisture coming up from the gulf and also from the Pacific, it's pretty much what was expected,” he said.
Going on into early spring, it could be a wetter than normal period with this El Niño continuing.
“It doesn't necessarily mean it could be every week or two weeks, but just that the totals, when we look at them, should be above normal. They are already well above normal.”
Miami's yearly average is 44.11 inches and the November average is only 4.13 inches.
After a dry start to the year, the rainy weather pattern started in mid-spring and lasted through July.
“We had a good blast of some of the heaviest rainfall the state has ever seen during that time period,” McManus said. “April through July was the wettest on record for the state of Oklahoma. Then, as we've got into the fall and see more impacts from that really strong El Niño out in the Pacific.”
This is just the third time since 1994 that Miami has received more than 50 inches of rain in a year.
In 2008, Miami finished with 57.02 inches and 51.39 inches fell in 1994.
Only 1.59 inches came in November in 2008, but the November total in '94 was 8.91 inches.
“A good steady flow of storms from west to east across the southern tier of the United States is exactly what you would expect from this kind of climate phenomenon,” McMahon said.
A year ago, northeastern Oklahoma was blanketed with an early-season snow storm. Christmas parades at Miami, Commerce and Quapaw were postponed due to the snow and bitterly cold temperatures.
Plus, most of the state east of I-35 dodged a storm last Friday that included sleet and freezing rain in a widespread area.
“We haven't really seen that really big cold high pressure system dominating the eastern half of the country already like we did last year. “Eastern Oklahoma sorta slid under that dome of cold air. We'd had school closures and everything else by this time last year.
“Right now we are probably looking at above normal temperatures as we go through the next month or two. That doesn't necessarily mean no snow, but possibly not the Arctic deep freeze that we had last year.”