Area sees decline in precipitation since start of year

PARKERSBURG – The Mid-Ohio Valley has seen a slight decline in precipitation since Jan. 1, officials said.

Tim Axford, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Charleston, said the valley has seen an average of 2.6 inches less rainfall. Since Jan. 1 about 9.26 inches of rain have fallen on the valley.

The average rainfall by this time of the year is about 11.87 inches, he said.

“There is a departure of less than average (rainfall),” Axford said.

West Virginia University Extension agent J.J. Barrett said although the area is dry for this time of year, it is too early to tell if the lack of rainfall will affect area farmers.

“It’s awful early to tell,” Barrett said. “If anything it has given (farmers) a chance to get their crops planted and fields ready.”

The average yearly rainfall for this area is around 43 inches, Barrett said.

Barrett said the weather in March was wet. The dry spell the area has experienced in the last several weeks has been a welcome change for farmers, he said.

Ohio receives about 37.77 inches of rainfall a year, while Virginia gets 45.22 inches a year and Pennsylvania 40.26 inches a year.

On average, the world has been getting more precipitation than 100 years ago, about 6 percent more in the United States, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The agency said the effects of the rain vary by region but states in the Northeast have been getting more precipitation than they used to.