Since the start of 2021 southeast Wisconsin has been battling dryer than average conditions almost constantly. Moderate to severe drought hasn't been a stranger either and the 2021-2022 winter didn't help much.
If we start on October 1, 2021, we're nearly 20" below average for snowfall which serves as valuable moisture for early spring growth. But these recent rains have made a big impact. In the last seven days, we've almost seen as much precipitation as we had seen from January 1 through March 16.
Precipitation statistics for Milwaukee in 2022
Consistent cool and rainy weather that saturates deep into the ground is what keeps meteorologists and hydrologists happy. That's just what we've gotten. Especially on Wednesday, March 23 over half an inch of rain fell across the region.
Early spring pooling in woodlands serves as important habitat for amphibians that will continue to benefit if precipitation stays consistent.
Radar and satellite from Wednesday evening, Mar. 23
Even with all this recent rainy weather, it's important to keep in mind we're still in a drought. 2018 and 2019 were record precipitation years for Milwaukee and that definitely spoiled us. We have a long way to go if we're to make up for the deficit but recent weather patterns have really helped improve the outlook.
If you'd like to help preserve freshwater which is one of Wisconsin's most valuable resources consider planting a rain garden near downspouts or reducing turf space in your yard.
Promoting native vegetation with deep roots and keeping leaf litter provides a valuable buffer to flooding and runoff conditions.