Weather forecasters expect Tropical Storm Isaac to bring another round of heavy rain to the Augusta area when it lands on the Gulf Coast, but even if that prediction proves wrong, August will still be the wettest on record, according to data with the Southeast Climate Center in Chapel Hill, N.C.
Rain gauges at Bush Field have recorded 9.75 inches this month, making it the wettest August in 70 years, beating out the previous record holder of August 1967, in which 8 inches was recorded.
Even more has been recorded at Daniel Field, said Leonard Vaughan, of the National Weather Service in West Columbia, S.C. Gauges there have collected a little more than 11 inches this month, breaking records there, too, he said.
Forecasters are fairly confident that Isaac will add to that total before the month ends. The tropical storm, which is expected to strengthen to a hurricane before it makes landfall, will pull plenty of moisture out of the Gulf of Mexico, some of which will be deposited in Augusta when it meets up with a cold front swinging down from the Midwest, Vaughan said.
“The front will act as a nice lifting mechanism to get that precipitation going,” he said.
Vaughan said up to 2 inches of rain could fall in the area by Thursday.
It is a wet month, but it is still a dry year for Augusta. As of last week, Augusta was still about 5.5 inches below normal for yearly rainfall, continuing the drought conditions, Vaughan said.