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2005-2006 season was wetter than this winter

Everybody knows this has been a really wet winter, but I'm wondering how many years have passed since there has been this much rain. My memory gets pretty hazy after a few years. I know the New Year's Flood of 1997 made for an extremely wet winter of 1996-97, but surely there must have been a wet winter sometime in the past 20 years. Can you tell us weather watchers how long it has been since we've had this much precipitation from November through March? Thanks!

— Rogue River Bill

Although the Rogue Valley has faced one downpour after another this winter, it wasn't that long ago that more rain fell in our area.

In the winter of 2005-2006, a total of 21.12 inches fell between November and mid-March, compared to 16.19 inches that has fallen this winter, according to National Weather Service Meteorologist Brett Lutz.

Compared to the winter of 2005-2006, less rain actually fell in the winter of 1996-1997, which logged 19.19 inches during the same period, Lutz said.

The New Year's Day Flood of 1997 that damaged property throughout the valley was triggered by a rain-on-snow event that led to rapid melting of the snowpack and overloaded creeks and rivers.

The wettest winter since record-keeping began in 1912 was in 1955-1956, when 24.74 inches of rain fell. During that winter, floods were common throughout the West in December and January, Lutz said.

While this winter isn't one for the record books, it does rank as the ninth-wettest since record-keeping began, he said.

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