Much needed rain gave the New England terrain a drink Sunday into Monday. Heavy rain fell across many towns with even some wintry weather in the North Country. As of 9 a.m. Monday these were the 24-hour rain totals:
This is the first time in about 180 days (for many towns) that we have gotten one inch of rain in one day. According to the climate data from area airports, many towns have gone about half a year without getting an inch of rain in a midnight to midnight timeframe.
While the rain totals are still unofficial (with precip still falling as of 10 a.m. Monday) here are some other local high rain totals.
1.94" Salisbury, VT
1.87" Marlboro, VT
1.82" Quechee, VT
1.73" Westminster, VT
1.67" Weathersfield, VT
1.58" Townshend, VT
^^ Tallied as of 9 a.m. Monday April 23.
Still with this rain, flooding remains unlikely. Two reasons contribute to this. One is the dry weather leading up to this. The ground can soak up the rain easier than if it were wet. According to regional hydrology reports, the ground could have gotten 2-3" in a 6-hour period leading up to this event before it would start flooding. Secondly, we didn't get as much rain needed to create high flood threats. While the possibility of flooding has been there all along leading up to this, the rivers have a lot of leeway to give.
This is a graph of the Winooski River at Essex Jct, VT. The blue line to the left is the observed river level. The purple line, which I've highlighted, is the forecast. This is courtesy NOAA, where the hydrology section of the weather service forecasts the rain impact on area rivers. Notice the lag in time from when we got the rain (Sun-Mon) to when the river will be at its highest (Mon-Tue). All the rain will flow down into area creeks and streams, then into rivers, lakes, and oceans. The orange area on this graph is minor flood stage. The forecast is for the river to get close to minor flood stage Tuesday morning, but not into flood stage. I agree with this. With one to two inches of rain in a 24 hour period, rivers usually jump up a few to several feet (depending on each river and how wet the ground is). Fortunately we've been so dry that it would take more rain to get into flood stage.
A similar forecast is expected for the Connecticut River at West Lebanon, NH. The orange area is minor flood stage and the forecast is for it to reach near that level Monday night. More rain is in the forecast this week, but not nearly as much as we have gotten this past weekend.
Fun stat for you: Burlington, VT has received 1.85" of rain in the three-day period from Saturday April 20 to Monday April 23 (as of 10 a.m., still counting slowly). That 1.85" is comparable to 1.85" Burlington received in a 58-day period between February 23 and April 20 (Burlington Int'l Airport).
-Meteorologist Steve Glazier