An Active Hurricane Season Impacts Ohio’s Drought

Ohio – It has been an extreme and historic hurricane season so far with a staggering 27 named storms. The hurricane season ends on November 30th.

Hurricane Zeta became the 11th named storm to hit the continental US this year, which sets a new record. The old record dates back to 1916 of nine named storms.

Due to the uptick in tropical disturbances, Ohio’s drought has improved through October.

Several named storms, including Zeta, made landfall along the Louisiana-Mississippi coastline in October. The remnants of these powerful storms pushed tropical moisture into the Buckeye state, resulting in more rain than normal.

So, as we wrap up October, one word comes to mind: wet.

Tropical Systems

Hurricane Delta and Hurricane Zeta made landfall along the coast of Louisiana in October. All the moisture surged into the Ohio valley and brought widespread rain as the hurricanes weakened.

However, Hurricane Zeta brought in more widespread and heavier rain to the Ohio valley.


Areas in southwest Ohio saw the highest amounts. Some places received 2 inches of rain.

Cincinnati airport, CVG, picked up on 1.93 inches on October 29th. This set a new daily rainfall record! The previous record was over a hundred years old, set back in 1883 at 1.84 inches.

Just shy of two inches, it nearly doubles October’s rainfall total in Cincinnati. October wraps up above average with a total of 4.41 inches.

October ends exactly 1.11 inches above the normal rainfall at CVG.


Another daily rainfall record broke on October 29th at Dayton’s airport. Dayton picked up on nearly an inch and a half of rainfall.

Dayton officially had 1.46 inches, which breaks the previous daily rainfall record from 1917 of 1.22 inches.

October’s rainfall is also above average. There were some areas in a moderate drought across parts of the Miami valley because of the dry September, but conditions have now improved with the recent rain.

In Dayton, September was significantly below average by 2.40 inches. Dayton only picked up on 0.9 inches, not even reaching an inch of rain.


No daily rainfall records broke from Zeta in Columbus, but the airport did pick up on over an inch of rain!

On October 29th, Columbus received 1.25 inches of rain.

October also wrapped up above average in Columbus. October rainfall was over an inch and a half over normal. This year, the total at the Columbus airport was 4.19 inches, and the average is 2.61 inches.

The tropical influence has helped ramp up rainfall in October for the central and southeastern parts of the state.


Despite some parts of the state struggling with rainfall in Ohio like northwestern and western Ohio, areas to the northeast have not.

Not only has it been a wetter than usual October, but it was also above average in September.

Cleveland only received 0.57 inches from Zeta. The higher amounts were across central and southern Ohio than far northern parts of the state.

However, October was a wet month. At the Cleveland airport, October’s rainfall total was 7.30 inches, which is an impressive 4.23 inches above the rainfall average.

Even in September, the Cleveland airport picked up on nearly 2 inches more than usual.

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