A rainy, snowy, icy final three months of the year put 2018 just above average for total precipitation in Kansas City, but those three months set a record.
The National Weather Service says the 15.39 inches of precipitation that fell from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31 is the most ever for that three-month period in 130 years of record-keeping in Kansas City. More than half of that – 9.79 inches, as officially measured at Kansas City International Airport – fell in four days, Oct. 6 through 9. The year’s wettest day was Oct. 7, with 4.48 inches.
The three-month total exceeds the old record – 15.08 inches in 1931 – and far exceeds the average for that period, 6.84 inches.
Overall, it was a slightly wet year, with 40.76 inches of precipitation, the 41st highest on record. The average is 38.86 inches. The record is 60.25 inches in 1961.
The normal pattern is this: December (1.53 inches on average) through February (1.48) are Kansas City’s driest months. Rain comes with spring, and May and June (each averaging 5.23 inches) are the wettest months. It slips a little in July (4.45) and August (3.89), bounces back in September (4.62) and then falls off sharply in October (3.16) and November (2.15).
That didn’t happen this last fall. October ended up with 10.76 inches of precipitation, compared with the average of 3.16 inches. November was drier overall – 1.59 inches, compared with the average of 2.15 – but it did include a dumping of 5.8 inches of snow during the Nov. 25 blizzard. And the last week of December was rainy, bringing the month to 3.04 inches, compared with the average of 1.53.
The area is still running a little ahead on snowfall so far this winter, thanks to the blizzard. As of Tuesday, KCI had recorded 8.3 inches – more than the total for each of the last three winters. Normally at this point the area would have had 6.3 inches and for whole winter gets 18.8 inches.
Other 2018 highlights:
• As the Weather Service classifies it, Kansas City had 97 days of fair skies, 115 days of partly cloudy skies and 113 days of cloudy skies.
• The low for the year was minus-11 on Jan. 1. On six different days from January through early February the low was below zero. The all-time recorded low is minus-23 on Dec. 22 and again Dec. 23 in 1989.
• The high last year was 100, on July 12. The all-time time – 113 on Aug. 14, 1936 – was never threatened.