2012 turns out to be wet year for LouisianaPublished 12:04am Monday, June 25, 2012
BATON ROUGE (AP) — After two years of below-average rainfall in Louisiana, the rain seems to be returning this year.craft
The state’s average rainfall mark stands at 31.6 inches, which is above the normal level of 21.9 inches. During the past two years, less-than-normal rainfall resulted in a deficit of 25 to 30 inches in the state.
The relief from drought started earlier this year when the entire state officially was classified as being out of drought, starting in April.
“For the first time in two years, no place anywhere in Louisiana was in drought,” said Barry Keim, state climatologist.
The U.S. Drought Monitor showed that the entire state was experiencing some form of drought conditions in June last year and more than a fourth of the state was classified as being in exceptional drought, the highest drought rating on the U.S. Drought Monitor scale.
However, this year the June drought map shows that almost half of Louisiana is drought-free while the rest is at least “abnormally dry.”
No areas of Louisiana are in extreme or in exceptional drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. However, there are some areas of severe drought in northwest and northeast Louisiana.
La Niña, which typically brings drier weather to Louisiana, has dissipated and Louisiana’s weather pattern is currently in a neutral position, Keim said.
La Niña occurs when there are cooler-than-normal sea-surface temperatures in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean, according to information from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In the aftermath of La Niña’s departure, it’s possible that there could be an El Niño event forming later this year.
The development of an El Niño weather pattern would typically bring more rain to this area, Keim said.
El Niños occur when there are unusually warm temperatures in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean, according to NOAA.