HD Media

The year 2018 set the high-water mark for precipitation in Charleston, where the previous annual record for rainfall was washed away by more than 5.5 inches of record-setting moisture. The capital city experienced 66.56 inches to break a 2003 record of 61.01 inches.

Huntington experienced its second-wettest year on record in 2018, joining several West Virginia cities that saw precipitation accumulations far above average annual totals.

Huntington's year-to-date precipitation total was 60.25 inches on Dec. 31, which was just shy of the record 62.44 inches set in 2011.

Right behind that is 1989, which experienced 59.98 inches of precipitation, making it the third-wettest year. The average annual rainfall in Huntington is 42 inches and 44.03 inches for Charleston.

A persistent southward dip in the jet stream over the central and eastern United States for much of spring and summer is one driving factor for this year's record wetness, according to a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration report released in November.

At that time, 2018 was the fifth wettest year in the United States, a ranking that may increase once year-end reports are released.

Although it was not the wettest year in Huntington, 2018's large amount of rains still set other firsts, according to preliminary data provided by the National Weather Service.

The city experienced its wettest September ever, also established as the city's second-wettest calendar month on record.

September has a total of 10.41 inches of rainfall, breaking the old record of 8.95 inches in 2004. The wettest month occurred in January 1937, when 12.07 inches of rain fell on the city.

Compared with average September totals, rainfall dumped more water on Huntington than 35 other northeastern cities, including Charleston, Beckley and Pittsburgh.

The city normally sees an average of 2.78 inches in September.

Sept. 10 had 3.83 inches of rainfall, more than doubling the previous record of 1.75 inches set on that day in 1916. Dec. 20 also set a rainfall record on that day with 1.55 inches to surpass 1.04 inches set in 1951.

Four other cities came close to seeing record yearly rainfalls.

Beckley had a total of 56.86 inches, just under a record rainfall of 57.41 inches in 1935. Parkersburg received 52.63 inches, under the 62.67 inches record in 1890.

Clarksburg saw 56.50 inches of rain, short of the 63.87 inches set in 1996. Elkins experienced 69.80 inches, under the 72.88 inches set in 1996.

A representative with the National Weather Service in Charleston said meteorologists were not available to discuss rainfall totals because of the ongoing federal government shutdown.

Year-end reports from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration were also unavailable.