Rainfall year-to-date as analyzed by the National Weather Service (NWS).

November rains have proved relentless, and a record that stood for 141 years fell Monday.

Rain poured down on Washington for the 11th time this month, pushing November’s precipitation total to a record-breaking 7.55 inches. The rainfall total topped the previous record of 7.18 inches, set in 1877.


The latest burst of rain simultaneously pushed Washington’s yearly total into third place among the wettest on record, and there are still five weeks left in 2018. Through noon Monday, 2018′s rainfall total was 60.44 inches, trailing only 2003 (60.83 inches) and 1889 (61.33 inches).


Washington needs less than an inch of rain over the next 35 days for 2018 to become the wettest year in recorded history. This seems almost inevitable. More rain is predicted for the region both Friday and over the weekend, when the record could fall.

Baltimore already clinched its wettest year on record having tallied up about 65 inches of rain. It also notched its wettest November on record Saturday (passing the mark of 7.68 inches from 1952), and added more rain on Monday, bringing its monthly total to about eight inches.

A number of other locations in the Mid-Atlantic have seen their wettest year on record, such as Charleston, W. Va., or are fast approaching it, including State College and Scranton, Pa.

Why has it been so wet lately?

It has to do with the position of the jet stream, which is the river of high-altitude winds along which storms track. It has persistently passed directly over the Mid-Atlantic, and its attendant storms have drenched the D.C. region time and time again.


November weather pattern averaged from Nov. 1 to 25 shows jet stream diving south over the eastern United States passing through the Mid-Atlantic. (NOAA, adapted by CWG)

The latest big storm swept through Saturday, unloading 1.42 inches of rain in Washington while pushing some streams over their banks. It marked the 22nd time this year that at least an inch of rain has fallen on a calendar day, a record.


(Ian Livingston)

Perhaps the seemingly nonstop rain makes you feel hopeless ...

Still the rain kept pourin’/Fallin' on my ears/And I wonder, still I wonder/Who’ll stop the rain? — Creedence Clearwater Revival

Or maybe you recognize that at some point, it has to end ...

So never mind the darkness/We still can find a way/’Cause nothin' lasts forever/Even cold November rain — Guns N' Roses

Whatever your take, the amount of water that has deluged Washington in recent months is truly extraordinary.