Medford's wettest year was not very long ago

I read with interest about how Medford is close to record-low precipitation for this year? Out of curiosity, what's the wettest year on record?

— No name given

Why? Did you build a time machine and want to take your stubborn garden back with you and turn it into a flourishing palate of vegetables and flowers? Out of curiosity.

We at Since You Asked are happy to help you in your quest. In case you didn't know, the National Weather Service started keeping records on annual rainfall in 1911. From then to now, the wettest year on record was 1996, with 31.41 inches of recorded precipitation. You may recall that water from Ashland Creek flooded several parts of Ashland the first day of 1997 and Bear Creek overflowed its banks in numerous places, including Phoenix and Medford. Other streams escaped their banks as well..

"It actually flooded a whole bunch of places," said Jay Stockton, NWS meteorologist.

And because it's a season of giving, we wanted to give you a bit more than you asked for. The runner up for precipitation in Medford was recorded in 1983, with 30.15 inches. The bronze goes to 1964, with 29.08 inches.

"That was a big flood year," Stockton said.

The average amount of rain for Medford is about 18.35 inches. So far this year, we're at a piddling 8.97 inches of rain since Jan. 1.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501 or by e-mail to

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