The Chesapeake Bay in 2019

A Year in Graphs

Weather Trends

This BayData product from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science summarizes the physical conditions that impacted the health of the Chesapeake Bay during 2019. Mouse over any data graphic to reveal its interactive features.


Precipitation in 2019 ran slightly above historical norms during the first 7 months, until a very dry September. Early fall and winter rains brought the annual rainfall rainfall total to near normal levels. 2018 was an unusually wet year throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

See cumulative precipitation data for other Bay watershed cities below. All data are from weather stations operated by NOAA's State Climatology Network.

Williamsburg, VA
Baltimore, MD
Harrisburg, PA

Salinity in Chesapeake Bay ran at abnormally low levels through the first 9 months of 2019 due to ongoing rainfall and continued groundwater discharge following a record wet year in 2018. Salinity finally rebounded to normal levels following a "flash drought" in September and early October.

Data are from the CBIBS York Spit buoy, part of the VECOS network operated by the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve at VIMS.

A winter with several spells of chilly daytime high temperatures gave way to a spring with daytime highs and nighttime lows regularly above the 30-year average. Fall arrived with another chilly spell, but the year ended with a stretch of very warm weather.


Here's how 2019 temperatures in Williamsburg compare to the normal and record highs and lows for each day.

All data are from NOAA's State Climatology Network. Williamsburg is of course just a single location, at the whims of local weather. To see how 2019 compares to previous years on a global basis, visit NOAA's Climate Prediction Center.