Extreme precipitation soaked the eastern half of the U.S., according to 2019 weather records included in a report recently released by NASA and the National Centers for Environmental Information, a division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Another way of looking at the data: 2019 was the wettest year in 125 years of record-keeping in the north-central U.S., according to the federal report.
The high ranking doesn't mean it rained or snowed here more than anywhere else, instead it's a testament to how heavy the precipitation was compared to average. And, the distinction comes with a caveat: It's based on available weather data globally — not every country has good weather records.
In Nebraska, 2019 was the state's third wettest year, behind 1993 and 1915. The region's extreme precipitation in 2019 followed a string of wet years.
Martha Shulski, Nebraska's state climatologist, said the state hasn't had a drier than normal year since 2012 — and that was the state's hottest, driest year on record. Both heavy precipitation and extreme drought are consistent with what Nebraska can expect from now on as a result of global warming, she said.
"We've seen it getting wetter over time" and warmer, she said of the state.
The heavy precipitation played out in multiple ways, many that have been well-documented: lost lives, damaged infrastructure, and the loss of livestock and crops.
But there were also less publicized effects.