2018 was Wilmington’s wettest year in more than 70 years, according to preliminary data from the National Weather Service. It shows Wilmington rainfall at 61.37 inches last year, breaking the previous record of 61.05 set in 1945.
But Kevin Brinson, Delaware’s associate state climatologist, says the Wilmington monitoring station at Porter Reservoir recorded several more inches of precipitation in 1996.
Brinson adds the entire state was on track for the wettest year on record in 2018 as of the end of November, but says his office is waiting on official data from the National Center for Environmental Information to confirm it.
“There’s a way that NCEI does it to determine how it ranks basically. We haven’t gotten that information, that’ll probably be another week or so depending on how long it takes for the government to get back into business,” he said.
Brinson does not attribute the unusually heavy precipitation to any one cause. “Sometimes you get a lot of weather systems that form. We had a lot of coastal systems that form and brought rain up from the gulf and gave us lots of moisture at various times this year,” said Brinson.
2018 was the wettest year on record for more than two dozen cities in the East and Midwest, according to the Weather Channel.