WeatherWeather Blog


Two Rainfall Records Tumble In Omaha

Wet start to the week erases rain deficit.
Posted at 8:54 PM, Aug 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-20 22:00:45-04

Two rain records fell in Omaha Sunday and Monday with our most recent soaking rainfall, but one record remains elusive.

A slow-moving area of low pressure dumped heavy rain across the region starting Sunday, August 19 and continued at times into Monday, August 20. Sunday's rain saturated the ground for many cities, forcing Monday's rain to quickly head for the nearest storm drain or creek. At times, the drainage network couldn't keep up, flooding numerous areas. Strong winds Monday morning added insult to injury, uprooting trees from the wet soil and knocking out power.

The rain finally came to an end late Monday afternoon, leaving behind a lot of water in the rain gauges and two records needing to be updated in the record books.

Radar-estimated rain totals show nearly all of the region getting in on at least half an inch of rain.

The bullseye of highest rain totals on Sunday and Monday stretched from Harrison County, Iowa, through northwest Pottawattamie, and further south towards downtown Omaha. Just north of downtown Omaha, at Eppley Airfield, 8.32 inches of rain were recorded over the two days. Our wettest two-day period on record came on August 6 and 7, 1999 with 10.48 inches.

NEW RECORD 1: Of the 8.32 inches at Eppley, 2.16 inches fell on August 19. That just barely broke the old record amount of rain for the date, set in 1949.

NEW RECORD 2: The rest of the rain (6.16") came down August 20, easily breaking the old record amount of rainfall for the date, set back in 1969 by more than 4 inches.

NOT A NEW RECORD: Seeing half a foot of rain in Omaha in one day is rare! In fact, Monday's 6.16 inches fell just shy of becoming the wettest day ever recorded in Omaha. That record still belongs to August 7, 1999, when the city picked up 6.46 inches of rain.

The rain was clearly too much in too little time for many areas, causing flooding, but it managed to easily take us from being below average on rain for 2018, to being above average.

At Eppley. we are now over 26 inches of rain on the year. putting us more than 4 inches above average.If you do the math correctly, and hopefully I did, the last two days of rain now make up 32% (or about one third) of this year's rain!