Wetter and warmer 2020 start expected to continue

A woman walks in the rain near the University of Dayton campus area. MARSHALL GORBY/STAFF

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A woman walks in the rain near the University of Dayton campus area. MARSHALL GORBY/STAFF

It’s been a soggy start to the new year, and wet weather looks to continue.

In a little more than a week’s time leading into the first few days of January, southwest Ohio has received two to three inches of rainfall. This has contributed to a very wet, soggy ground along with some rising creeks and streams. Localized flooding in low-lying areas was also an issue for some locations.

Since Dec. 29, Cincinnati picked up 2.26 inches of rainfall, while Dayton recorded 2.48 inches. Neither are record-breaking for this time frame, but both are well above seasonal normals.

Long-range models trends are leaning toward a warmer and wetter than normal weather pattern through the middle of the month.

Typically during the month of January, the average high falls in the upper 30s, so it’s possible we will see days warmer than that more times than not through the next few weeks.

The average monthly precipitation falls between 2.5 to 3 inches of rain. If the wet and soggy weather persists, it’s highly likely that southwest Ohio will surpass the typical amount of precipitation this area receives in January.

Several rounds of rain are expected to return late this week into the weekend. This additional rain could lead to flooding problems across the region.

The best way to stay safe from flooding is by knowing the difference between watches, warnings and advisories. Here is a breakdown of these weather alerts as defined by the National Weather Service.

Flood or a Flash Flood Watch: The potential exists for flooding to occur. It does not mean flooding will occur, but it’s possible.

Flash Flood Warning: Issued when a flash flood is imminent or occurring. If you are in a flood-prone area, move to higher ground IMMEDIATELY. Flash floods are sudden and violent floods that can take from minutes to hours to develop. It is even possible to experience a flash flood in areas not immediately receiving rain.

Flood Warning: Issued when flooding is imminent or already happening. You will typically see flood warnings issued in areas located along larger rivers, but can be placed in other areas too.

Flood Advisory: Issued when flooding is expected, but not to be bad enough to issue a warning. However, it may cause significant inconvenience, and if caution is not exercised, it could lead to a situation that may be threatening to life and/or property.

Listen to WHIO-TV or WHIO Radio for the latest information and updates as we move closer to the weekend. Be prepared to find alternate routes if high water occurs.

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