If April 2017 felt particularly rainy, that’s because it was actually record-breaking rainy.
In fact, April was the second wettest year on record in the United States, according to data released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
This onslaught of rain caused torrential downpours and deadly floods around the country, including the Mississippi Valley, the central Plains, the Northwest, and the Great Lakes area. Missouri, Arkansas, and North Carolina suffered from deadly flooding the most, with North Carolina reporting 6.75 inches of rain, obliterating its previous record of 3.42 inches, USA Today reports.
Americans just aren’t used to all this rain, considering the last time the country reported numbers like this it was 1957. The average precipitation rate for the country was 3.43 inches, a full 0.91 inches above what is expected for this time of year.
So, while 20% of all home insurance claims are related to water damage of some kind, it seems that April 2017 will make that number increase even more.
Of all 50 states, only North Dakota and Arizona were drier than usual last month.
On top of all these record-breaking floods, April ushered in a period of extreme warmth, which worsened the drought in the Southwest and parts of the Southeast. This was in part due to massive wildfires burning in Florida and areas of Georgia, which were so powerful the rain had no effect. April was the 11th warmest April on record, staying consistent with the fact that 2017 is on its way to being the second-warmest year in recorded human history, second only to 2012.
However, despite all these environmental changes, there has been one positive. Despite the wildfires in Florida and Georgia, all this rain helped to shrink the nationwide drought. According to NOAA, the drought threat is now at the lowest level it has been since the year 2000, which is when the U.S. Drought monitor was established and started to collect data.