Aberdeen records historically low rainfall in 2019

It may be hard to believe after recent rains, but 2019 will go down in history for record-setting low rainfall totals on the Harbor.

Aberdeen received the lowest annual rainfall since records started being kept in 1891, according to the National Weather Service. The 51.36 inches of rain for 2019 compares to an annual average of 84.25, according to Weather Service figures.

The most rain ever recorded in Aberdeen was in 1999 when the total for the year was 111.13 inches. Aberdeen’s rainfall is currently measured at the city’s wastewater treatment plant near the Chehalis River at the west end of Heron Street.

Hoquiam got even less rain in 2019, only 45.18 inches, which was the second lowest annual amount, according to the Weather Service. The records at Hoquiam’s Bowerman Airport weather station go back to 1953 with the lowest annual precipitation total being 40.79 inches in 1985. The highest annual rainfall total for Hoquiam was 87.86 inches recorded in 1956.

Ocean Shores got 41.55 inches of rain at the north jetty and 49.03 at its wastewater treatment plant compared to averages of 64.17 for the jetty and 66.41 at the plant, according to the Coastal Interpretive Center.

For regional comparison, Sea-Tac Airport recorded 33.88 inches of rain in 2019, 3.61 inches below average, and Quillayute had the most rain of any station in western Washington in 2019, 80.92 inches, but that was 18.62 inches below average, according to the Weather Service.

Hoquiam Rain Derby

The Hoquiam Lions Club has an annual fundraiser, selling guesses at rainfall for the year. The measurements are taken at Bowerman, but separately from the Weather Service.

City Councilman Al Dick hit it right on the nose, at 39.42 inches of rain at Bowerman in 2019. That earned him $1,000. Lytle Seafood, Elijah Molehon, L.J. Taylor and Rod Drake won $200 each for taking second through fifth prizes in the annual derby.