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When it rained, it poured: Richmond's 2 feet of rain during May and June set another record

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Richmond has never seen this much rain in back-to-back months.

The wettest May on record was followed by the wettest June, for a total of 23.67 inches at Richmond International Airport since May 1. Last Friday’s astonishing downpour — which set several other hourly and daily records — contributed nearly one-third of that amount.

That total will hold if we close out the month of June with dry weather, as expected.

The previous record for rainiest two-month period happened in July and August of 1969, with 23.21 inches. As unusual as that summer was for Richmond, up to 31 inches hit Nelson County in one devastating night when the remnants of Hurricane Camille tracked through.

Richmond’s official rainfall records go back to January 1887.

May was the 18th-wettest month out of the past 1,578. June is likely to rank as the seventh-wettest. The month with the most rainfall was July 1945, with 18.87 inches.

Richmond wasn’t the only place dealing with the soaking storms lately.

The past 60 days brought nearly 2 feet of rainfall to a few zones of Virginia: One area is between Richmond, Louisa and Tappahannock; another is east of the Blue Ridge Mountains between Charlottesville and Rappahannock; and a few pockets are around the Shenandoah Valley.

A volunteer precipitation observer near Ruther Glen in Caroline County measured 25.26 inches of rain since May 1, more than any other official site in the state. There, the 60-day rainfall departure is a surplus of nearly 18 inches.

Almost all of Virginia had excess rain over the past two months, with the exception of a few small spots in the New River Valley.

Here’s one last statistic before we abandon the talk of rain in favor of the sunny and hot forecast. There was actually nothing unusual about the number of days with rainfall recently.

During May and June, Richmond had 22 days with enough to measure. We average 21 days with rain during those two months. Yet eight of those rainy days gave us more than 1 inch.

Simply: When it rained, it poured.

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Check Richmond.com/weather for John Boyer’s videos and forecast updates. Contact him at JBoyer@timesdispatch.com.

Meteorologist

John Boyer is the first staff meteorologist for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. He joined the RTD newsroom in November 2016. Boyer earned his degree in meteorology from North Carolina State University in Raleigh.

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John Boyer

John Boyer, the RTD's staff meteorologist

John Boyer is the first staff meteorologist for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. He joined the RTD newsroom in November 2016 after covering severe weather on television in Tulsa, Okla.

As a native of the Roanoke area, the region’s heavy snowstorms started his fascination with Virginia’s changing weather.

Boyer earned his degree in meteorology from North Carolina State University in Raleigh. He is a member of the American Meteorological Society and earned their Certified Broadcast Meteorologist seal in 2012.

Look for his stories in the RTD and on Richmond.com, along with videos and forecast updates for major weather events in our area.

Email him your story ideas and weather tips.

Saturday Weatherline

Dec. temperature records set in 1998, 2015

December’s local and statewide record highs came from two warm spells. Dec. 6-7, 1998, pushed highs to 81 degrees in Richmond and 85 at both Hopewell and Colonial Beach. Dec. 24, 2015, brought the month’s warmest lows for Richmond (65) and Virginia Beach (71).

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