Rainfall Records Fall Across the Northeast

The second major storm this month pummeled the Northeast yesterday and the day before, setting rainfall records across the region.

"Over the two days, rainfall totals of over eight inches were common in the hardest hit areas," said Marcie Katcher, a representative from the Eastern Region Headquarters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Through Tuesday evening, 7.81 inches (19.8 centimeters) of rain fell in Providence, R.I, which set a new rainfall record for the month of March.

Evacuations were in effect yesterday in parts of Warwick, R.I. In Cranston, R.I., the Pawtucket River rose to a new flood stage setting a new record of 14.98 feet (4.57 meters) on March 15. The river surpassed that level earlier yesterday and was expected to crest at 19 feet (5.79 m).

This latest storm has made March 2010 the wettest on record for many cities in the Northeast. Here are some of the weather records that have been set so far:

  • By the end of Tuesday, Providence, R.I., recorded 16.32 inches (41.5 cm) of rain for the month of March, which set a new record for the wettest month ever for the region. The previous record, set in October 2005, was 15.38 inches (39.1 cm).
  • A record daily rainfall of 2.93 inches (7.4 cm) was measured at Logan International Airport in Boston, Mass., on Tuesday, breaking the previous record set in 1953.
  • The latest storm raised Boston's total rainfall for March to 14.83 inches (37.7 cm), which makes it the second wettest month since weather recording began in the area in 1872.
  • March has also been the wettest month on record for portions of the tri-state area. At Central Park in New York, 10.68 inches (27.1 cm) of rain fell, breaking the old record of 10.54 inches (26.8 cm) set in 1983.
  • At La Guardia Airport in New York, 9.55 inches (24.3 cm) of rain have fallen so far, breaking the previous record set in 1953.
  • This has been the wettest March for the state of New Jersey since records were first kept in 1895. The previous record for the month of March was 7.80 inches (19.8 cm) in 1912.

And state-wide in New Jersey, the 12-month period spanning from April 2009 to March 2010 was the wettest of any 12-month interval on record. 

Denise Chow
Live Science Contributor

Denise Chow was the assistant managing editor at Live Science before moving to NBC News as a science reporter, where she focuses on general science and climate change. Before joining the Live Science team in 2013, she spent two years as a staff writer for Space.com, writing about rocket launches and covering NASA's final three space shuttle missions. A Canadian transplant, Denise has a bachelor's degree from the University of Toronto, and a master's degree in journalism from New York University.