Sunday, October 05, 2008

2008 Water Year Summary Report

Station Number: MI-BN-3
Station Name: Buchanan 1.4 ESE

Station Location and History: This station is located 1.4 miles ESE of Buchanan, Michigan. Buchanan is located in the southeast portion of Berrien County, Michigan’s southwestern-most county. The rain gauge is located at 4776 Erie Drive (lat. 41.8 N, long. 86.3 W) at an elevation of 759 feet. It is maintained as part of the CoCoRaHS (the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, & Snow Network). Michigan officially joined the CoCoRaHS Network on July 1, 2008. Therefore, this report covers only the 4th quarter of the 2008 Water Year, July-September 2008.

The Data: Precipitation is recorded at 7:00 AM each morning, in accordance with CoCoRaHS protocol, using a standard 4-inch rain gauge. That measurement represents precipitation that has fallen during the previous 24 hours. Thus, a measurement taken at 7:00 AM on September 15th is an indicator of total precipitation that has fallen between 7:00 AM on September 14th and 7:00 AM on September 15th.

Precipitation Summary: July saw measurable amounts of rain (i.e., ≥ 0.01 inches) fall on 10 (32 percent) of 31 days, with a total accumulation of 2.35 inches (0.08 inches/day).

August produced measurable rainfall on 8 (26 percent) of 31 days, with a total accumulation of 2.33 inches (0.08 inches/day).

September was by far the wettest month of the quarter, with measurable rainfall on 13 (43 percent) of 30 days yielding a total accumulation of 13.00 inches (0.43 inches/day).

For the entire 4th quarter, measurable precipitation, all in the form of rain, fell on 31 (34 percent) of 92 days, producing a whopping 17.68 inches of rain; 74 percent of that total occurred in September, with 53 percent (9.38 inches) falling on just 3 days (September 13-15).

  • Longest span of days with measurable rainfall: 7 (September 4-10).
  • Longest span of days without measurable rainfall: 13 (September 17-29).
  • Greatest rainfall in 24 hours: 3.83 inches (September 14).
  • Wettest month: September (13.00 inches)
  • Comparisons: No comparative data from previous years is available for this site. Therefore, to gauge the relative wetness of this quarter, I offer some comparative data from the nearest locality, South Bend, Indiana (located 12 miles SE of this station). July rainfall for South Bend (2.38 inches) was 36 percent below the norm (1970-2000), August rainfall (1.90 inches) was 52 percent below the norm, and September rainfall (13.96 inches) was 267 percent above the norm. The quarterly total of 18.24 inches at South Bend (which was very close to the 17.68 inches recorded in Buchanan) exceeded the norm at that locality by 59 percent. Thus, the fourth quarter of 2008 can be categorized as abnormally dry in July and August and exceedingly wet (i.e., record-setting) in September.

    Temperature, Relative Humidity, and Dew Point: Purely for my own edification, I recorded these statistics on 90 of the 92 days during the quarter. All were recorded at about 7:00 AM, so can be considered to represent lows for each day. Figures for temperature and dew point are in degrees F., relative humidity is in percent. The results follow:
  • Temperature: High 74 (July 19), Median 60, Low 44 (September 10)
  • Relative Humidity: High 90 (July 5 & August 9), Median 84, Low 73 (August 22 & September 11)
  • Dew Point Temperature: High 68 (July 12 & 19), Median 54.5, Low 38 (September 10)
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