When Andrea Spindler adorned her front door with a handcrafted decoration made from a colorful umbrella and plastic flowers, she didn’t think the wet-weather design would be needed until June.
Spindler of Seaward Avenue in Bradford has left the decoration in place, however, and is uncertain when she’ll take it down, due to the unusually wet spring experienced in the area and throughout the state.
As a matter of fact, the ongoing rainy weather from June 2018 through May of 2019 has created the one of the wettest years in the Bradford area since the 1930s.
John Banghoff, meteorologist with the National Weather Service at Penn State, said the entire state has had a “very, very wet” spring as well as the year leading up to May.
“Basically, June of 2018 through May of 2019” has been the sixth wettest year on record in the state since 1935, he said. “Statewide, it has been extraordinarily wet.”
He said during that same time frame, the Bradford area received 55.88 inches of rain. In comparison, 2011, the wettest year on record in the state, Bradford received 64.79 inches of rain.
Banghoff said he and the other meteorologists at the Weather Service receive calls from farmers everyday with concerns about the forecast.
“We take anywhere from five to 30 calls from people (daily) about when it’s going to rain and how much it’s going to rain,” Banghoff said. “There’s a pretty large population of Amish, as well” who contact the Weather Service.
“It’s not fun to deliver the information to them because they’re just trying to catch a break,” he lamented.
In commenting on the upcoming forecast, Banghoff said the outlook for a strong chance of rain next week should come as no surprise to local residents. Banghoff also couldn’t offer any guarantees for the amount of precipitation expected for the remainder of the summer.
“Into the summer, there isn’t a real strong signal one way or the other (for precipitation), but there is certainly not a dry signal” for summer, he added.
In comparison to some states in the Midwest and Southwest, he said Pennsylvania is better off with its weather pattern.
“They have been very unfortunate with 20 percent of the corn planted at this point,” he said of Midwest and Southwest farmers. “That could have implications from the economic standpoint.”
As for Spindler, the unique door design was intended to come down following the spring weather, but since the rain has been prolonged she’ll wait a little longer before hanging her summer decorations.
“It won’t stop raining, so (the umbrella decoration) is still applicable,” Spindler remarked. “I think if maybe we get a week of sun, I’ll think about switching it. But until then, the umbrella stays.”