Record rainfall makes for one of wettest days

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 16, 2004

Weather spotters in the Albert Lea area recorded the following rainfall totals to KIMT Channel 3 TV from Tuesday to Wednesday:

7.22 (recorded downtown)

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4.92 (Airport)

According to KIMT Meterologist Jonathan Conder, the airport record is low because in a hard rain, the tipping rain gauge can’t catch the rain fast enough.

&uot; As rain falls into the automatic rain gauge, it falls into a funnel that is 8 inches wide and then it drips into a very small dual-tipping bucket,&uot; Conder said. &uot; Every time the bucket fills with one hundredth (.01) of an inch, it tips and the other bucket fills.&uot;

Which means during a heavy rainfall, quite a bit of rain is lost as the bucket tips back and forth, he added.

Though he has no comparable record of rainfall over a two-day rainfall, Conder provided the following wettest days in Albert Lea history.

– 10.

4.2″ on 30 May 1980

– 9.

4.5″ on 9 July 1912

– 8.

4.67″ on 6 Aug 1968

– 7.

4.75″ on 5 Aug 1945

– 6.

5.06 on 15 Aug 1993

– 5.

5.28 on 11 June 1925

– 4.

6.25 on 5 July 1943

– 3.

6.7″ on 31 July 1961

– 2.

7.0″ on 15 Jun 1978

– 1.

7.25″ on 18 Aug 1926

Though he cautioned that comparing these numbers to this week’s rainfall is like comparing apples to oranges, he said the rainfall numbers could be compared to Albert Lea’s annual average rain fall which is only 33.15 inches, or about 1/5th of the annual rainfall, which fell in 24 hours.

&uot;No matter which way you look at it, we lived through weather history,&uot; Conder said. &uot;And this rainfall event will be one to remember.&uot;