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Old 05-12-2011, 02:07 PM
 
Location: Toronto
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Default What's the longest your climate has gone without any precipitation at all?

Hearing about the drought conditions in some parts of the world (UK, Europe) got me thinking -- what's the longest period of time your city or town actually went through with no precipitation at all (that is zero inches)? I mean I don't think this sort of statistic on record dry spells (in days) is that easily available (though you could find out I'm sure by downloading a database of daily data going back a long time), as opposed to record driest year etc. despite them probably being related.

Anyways, what's your record, or if you can't tell precisely, what's the longest you've personally experienced (even a rough estimate)?

For where I live, personally (Toronto and more broadly southern Ontario) any real dry spell is nothing compared to the many climates worldwide, as here you'd not expect to go, say more than a week without precipitation and it seems rain is very evenly distributed year round anyways. I recall a couple of years ago, we actually went for three weeks without rain in September (I did a quick search online for mention of that in 2009 and a meteorologist said then that a dry spell like that hadn't happened in Toronto since 1938!). I'd estimate that in my climate, the record might be not much more than a month or so (though I don't know without stats).

Even the UK it seems can go around a month or more without rain, so that's pretty tame.

Last edited by Stumbler.; 05-12-2011 at 02:24 PM..
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Old 05-12-2011, 02:23 PM
 
Location: Buxton, England
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Bout amonth here in Buxton, one of the wetter parts of the UK.
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Old 05-12-2011, 02:29 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
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Maybe a month or two? Not sure. I believe 1999 had a very dry summer, but then we were socked with Hurricane/Tropical Storm Floyd.
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Old 05-12-2011, 02:33 PM
Status: "Character is what you do when no one is looking..." (set 23 days ago)
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston
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April 2011 was the 5th driest and 5th hottest April in Texas history, going back 117 years. Exceptionally dry conditions have parched the soil and vegetation in Texas, which recorded precipitation of just 1.68 inches (43 mm,) on average, since February 1st. This is easily its driest February-April period on record for the state, nearly an inch less than the previous record (2.56 inches or 65 mm, Feb – Apr 1996.)
The six-month period November 2010 – April 2011 was the 2nd driest such period on record - 94 % of Texas is in severe to exceptional drought.
US Drought Monitor
Hell and High Water: “Great Texas Drought” drives record wildfires as record deluge drives Mississippi floods Climate Progress

BTW: The longest drought on American soil began before there was a US, in 1276, and it lasted 38 years, until 1314. The most well known drought in US history, and tied for being one of the longest was the drought that caused the dust bowl and the Great Depression, from 1931-1936. This drought also set the record for the two driest years in US history, 1934 and 1935.

Last edited by elnina; 05-12-2011 at 02:47 PM..
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Old 05-12-2011, 03:17 PM
 
Location: Yorkshire, England
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I believe it's 73 days in spring 1891 in Mile End, east London? I believe the longest I personally have been without seeing rain was the 26 days we've just had, though summer 1995 had a prolonged dry spell in much of England which was probably similar in length.
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Old 05-12-2011, 03:26 PM
 
Location: Surrey, London commuter belt
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Mile End 73 days 4th March to 15th May 1893
Twickenham 72 days 4th March to 14th May 1893
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Old 05-12-2011, 03:39 PM
 
Location: Wellington and North of South
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NZ record is 71 days. Can't find the placename reference at present.
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Old 05-12-2011, 03:47 PM
 
Location: Yorkshire, England
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B1987 View Post
Mile End 73 days 4th March to 15th May 1893
Twickenham 72 days 4th March to 14th May 1893
Ah, thanks. Shame the national rain series only goes back to 1914 because 1893 might have come out with some really impressive figures. I don't suppose you know the second-longest (because 2.5 months with no rain just seems a complete one-off fluke to me) or the longest dry stretch in living memory?

And if anybody is interested, here is the table with our national rainfall totals for the last almost 100 years. I don't now how normal it is compared to other climates but there's a lot of unpredictability on a month-by-month basis. By international standards the totals we get are really not that high.

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/...ics/ewrain.txt
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Old 05-12-2011, 04:06 PM
 
Location: Surrey, London commuter belt
584 posts, read 460,391 times
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In 1995 there was no rain from 28th July to 2nd September.
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Old 05-12-2011, 04:28 PM
 
Location: Orinda, CA
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My hometown, in the inland East Bay in CA, has a semiarid Mediterranean climate that can go four to six months in the dry season without rain.
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