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Thanks to Christmas rain, Twin Cities has wettest year on record

ST. PAUL — This year is going down as the wettest year on record in Minneapolis-St. Paul, tracing back to when the National Weather Service started measuring rain and snowfall in 1871.

It was already a soggy year, then more than an inch of rain fell on Christmas Day.

"That's what catapulted us into the record books," said Tony Zaleski, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Chanhassen.

The Twin Cities received 40.32 inches of precipitation so far in 2016, according to the National Weather Service. The previous wettest year was more than a century ago, in 1911, when 40.15 inches was recorded.

The region saw relatively normal precipitation through July, and then the downpours started and continued into an abnormally wet late summer and fall. Just over 5 inches of rain fell in July, more than an inch above normal. August had nearly 8 inches, about 3.5 inches above normal, Zaleski said.

Nearly 5.5 inches fell in September, more than 2 inches above average.

"Even in October, which can be a dry month, we got 3.41 inches," which was almost an inch above normal, Zaleski said. The year has finished wet with nearly 3 inches in November and more than 2 inches in December, both over an inch above average.

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