We know this year has been wet to this point and spring picked up right where winter ended with above-normal precipitation here in Youngstown, Ohio. This wet weather has become more common throughout the past 20 years in our part of the country.

Many areas across the central and western part of the United States have been dealing with drought conditions as we are dealing with the soggy ground here in Northeast Ohio and Western Pennsylvania.

We are on the wet side of the country at this point in time. We have not experienced extreme drought for many years in our region.

NOAA and NIDIS record and track precipitation and drought information for the United States

Looking at the data provided by NIDIS, it is clear that through the years, dating back to the 1800s we had many swings back and forth from dry years to wet years. There were several periods of both dry and wet. For example, the 1960s were weighted with more dry, than wet when looking at the graphs below.

This chart shows how areas are classified in relation to the amount of dry/wet conditions according to NOAA and NIDIS. Drought is classified according to the severity of the drought. The same goes for wet conditions.

Below you will see information for each local county dating back to the 1800s. You can read the graph from left to right. You will see the warm colors representing the dry/drought years and then the cooler colors representing the wetter years.

It is interesting to note how the back and forth swings dropped off after we passed the year 2000. You will notice a large number of the years since have been placed in the wetter category. In fact, the bulk of the past 20 years have been wet here in NE Ohio and NW Pennsylvania when you look at these charts provided by NIDIS and NOAA.

Drought vs. wet years for Trumbull County dating back to 1895 above
Drought vs. wet years for Mahoning County dating back to 1895 above
Drought vs. wet years for Columbiana County dating back to 1895 above
Drought vs. wet years for Mercer County dating back to 1895 above

You can see the weighted cooler colors showing up in each of the counties since the year 2000. Yes, there are a few dry ones in that period, but the bulk of the 20-year period is wet.

We are currently in a wet period of history for Eastern Ohio and Western Pennsylvania. Only time will tell how soon we pull out of this wet pattern through the years.