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April showers bring record April rainfall in Columbus

Chris Poche / Lantern designer

Six-one hundredths of an inch might not mean much to many people, but for those in Columbus, it means a new April rainfall record.

The previous record dates back to April 1893, when 7.08 inches of precipitation was recorded, according to the National Weather Service’s website. The record was broken this April with 7.14 inches of precipitation recorded.

“A lot of storms in the southeastern area ride the jet stream that rises north right into the Ohio Valley,” said Mike Kurz, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Wilmington, Ohio.

However, the rain did more than set a record.

“We have been getting reports of ponding of water in fields, roadways being closed and rivers running high because of the rain,” Kurz said.

Campus was also affected by the high amounts of precipitation.

“After a storm or bad weather, we go around campus by zones and do an inspection to make sure there is no damage to the buildings, roofs, lights and poles,” said Lynn Readey, the associate vice president for Facilities Operation and Development at Ohio State.

Readey said the only damage from April’s weather was minor tree damage that the grounds crew took care of.

Some students may have found the rain more than a nuisance.

“My roof in my house above my bedroom collapsed because it was full of rain,” said Craig Wiehe, a second-year in athletic training.

The hole in his roof is about four feet wide and currently is covered with garbage bags and awaiting repair, Wiehe said.

Of the 30 days in April, it rained 23 of those days, which includes any days when a trace of precipitation was recorded, Kurz said.

“I couldn’t ride my bike to class because it was raining,” Wiehe said.

Wiehe said he also had to buy an umbrella because of the April showers.

Precipitation was not the only concern in April.

“There was a EF1 tornado reported April 20, four miles south of Grove Port, which is in southern Franklin County,” Kurz said.

Tornados are measured on an EF scale of zero to five, with five being catastrophically dangerous, Kurz said.

Other Ohio cities also saw above average amounts of rain in April.

Cincinnati had 13.52 inches of precipitation that broke the 1998 record of 9.77 inches, according to the National Weather Service’s website.

Dayton had its second-highest amount of rain recorded with 8.72 inches, less than half an inch short of the 1996 record of 9.20 inches, according to the National Weather Service’s website.

The rainfall predictions for May are uncertain.

“According to the Climate Predictions Center, there is not any strong signal as to whether we will see above or below average rainfall,” Kurz said. “Nothing stands out.”

Camille Travis contributed to this story. 

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