Dataset Overview

These data are annual summaries of precipitation derived from models of historical weather observations. These data were downloaded from the National Center for Environmental Information. . Total annual precipitation is the sum of all water (in the form of rain, snow, or ice) that fell within a calendar year.

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Water is essential to a healthy forested ecosystem, but excess water can lead to flooding and disease outbreaks, while a deficiency can lead to drought. For example, extreme rain events can cause flooding in low-lying areas, but even upland forests may experience “overland flow”. This occurs when rainfall is so heavy that it cannot be absorbed into the soil. Aquifers are not replenished and soil erosion may happen, exposing tree roots and washing away nutrients. Fluctuations in rainfall above or below the long-term mean will lead to stressful conditions for some forest species while creating ideal conditions for other species. Trees are adapted to the long-term conditions they have experienced, therefore deviations in precipitation from the long-term mean (both above and below) could be problematic to forests. Ideally, a healthy forest ecosystem has water availability that remains consistent.

Data Collection Status

Data collection for this dataset is ongoing

Start date



896 records with 6 fields

Data Availability

This dataset is downloadable from the FEMC, and available to download from another site.

Data License

Linked - Third party determines data license

Preferred Citation

Not provided

Update Frequency


Maintenance Plan

Not provided


No links available for this dataset

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