Rain driving out drought

The umbrellas were in full bloom along Broad Street as the rain came down most of the day in Augusta Tuesday morning May 23, 2017. The rain and thunderstorms are expected to continue on Wednesday. MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF

Rainfall totals are pushing the area out of drought conditions and residents can expect intermittent showers and possibly below-average temperatures through the end of July, meteorologists with the National Weather Service said.

 

Thursday’s U.S. Drought Monitor Report includes only a single swath – across portions of Richmond and Burke counties – of dry, but not drought conditions in Georgia and South Carolina, meteorologist Dan Miller said.

“Unlike last year especially, which was really dry, rainfall is really good across much of the CSRA,” Miller said. “Things have improved considerably.”

More than 23 inches of rain have fallen this year at Clarks Hill, above the normal through July 5 of about 19 inches, Miller said. Daniel Field is about a third of an inch below its normal for the year, at 23.5 inches. At Bush Field, rainfall of 24.33 inches is 1.43 inches above normal, he said.

About two miles east of the city of Aiken, a cooperative observer reported 31.99 inches, well over last year’s total, weather service hydrologist Leonard Vaughan said.

The short-range outlook calls for a 40 percent chance of above-normal precipitation most days through July 19, with temperatures either near normal or slightly below normal through month’s end, Miller said.

No drought means no water restrictions other than standing restrictions issued by environmental protection agencies, Augusta Utilities Director Tom Wiedmeier said.

The Georgia Environmental Protection Division maintains a perpetual ban on watering plants and other outdoor uses between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., Wiedmeier said.

Reach Susan McCord at (706) 823-3215 or susan.mccord@augustachronicle.com.

 

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