Joplin on track to record one of its wettest years ever

Haley Crane, a Missouri Southern State University freshman from Overland Park, is prepared to walk in something other than eternal sunshine on Oct 10 as she heads for class. Joplin, which has recorded nearly 55 inches of rain this year, today has a 50% chance of adding to its 2019 precipitation total.GLOBE | ROGER NOMER


More rain.

It's not as if we haven't had enough already.

Justin Titus, meteorologist with the National Weather Service station in Springfield, said the city β€” data is collected at Joplin Regional Airport β€” has already recorded nearly 55 inches of rain this year, with more than two months to go.

"Normal for this date (through Friday) is 38 inches β€” 38.13 inches," he said. "You guys are close to 17 inches above normal."

The worst of it was in the spring, when flooding was widespread across the region.

More is on the way, arriving this morning, indifferent to all the events planned for today, most notably the annual parade that is the culmination of the Maple Leaf Festival in Carthage, one of the largest draws in Southwest Missouri. It begins at 9 a.m. on the square. It's followed by live music, brats on the square and more.

It's also homecoming for Pittsburg (Kansas) State University (kickoff is 1 p.m.), and Missouri Southern State University has a home game too (kickoff is 4 p.m.).

The Missouri Fur Company is continuing its annual mountain man rendezvous near Waco, open to the public today.

Well, you get the point.

"There will be rain moving in in the morning (today)," Titus said. "Nothing severe. Maybe some thunder."

He also noted that average annual rainfall for Joplin is 46.55 inches, so the city is nearly 9 inches ahead of that number.

The record for Joplin, by the way, is 65.25 inches, set in 1985, which is just over 10 inches from where we are now.

Could Joplin break a record this year?

The one-month and three-month forecasts put together by the Climate Prediction Center show "near-normal" rainfall for the rest of the year, Titus said.

"Normal" is between six and seven inches of rain in the last couple months of the year, which would put the area in the low 60-inch range if the scientists are correct. That's not enough to break a record, but it will come close.

"In the total record, which goes back to 1902, it has gone above 60 (inches) it looks like five times," Titus said of Joplin's annual rainfall total. "As it stands right now (Friday, Oct. 18), Joplin is sitting at 11th (wettest) for the year total, and we still have 75 days to go."

Andy Ostmeyer is the metro editor at the Globe. His email address is

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