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Forecast calls for rain after lengthy dry period

Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013 5:35 PM
Last updated Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013 1:17 AM
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Rain expected later this week could bring an end to the current dry spell.

The latter part of the year has seen little rain after a wet summer.

In fact, the three months from September to November was the fifth driest of that time frame in history, according to Georgia climatologist Bill Murphey.

The National Weather Service’s long-term forecast calls for an increased chance of rain starting Friday just ahead of a cold front and continue through Saturday. The greatest chance of rainfall will come Tuesday when a low pressure system approaches from the Gulf of Mexico.

“That looks like (Tuesday) will be the next heavy precipitation across the state,” he said.

Augusta has received 47.77 inches of rainfall this year, making it the 21st wettest year on record. That’s more than 3 inches above the average.

Much of the rain occurred in June when the area got nearly 11 inches.

Sid Mullis, director of the University of Georgia Extension Service Office for Richmond County, said the upcoming rainfall could mean an end to the vibrantly colored fall leaves. The frost last week burned the fall leaves and caused them to start falling in bunches. Rain could knock what’s left on trees to the ground.

Mullis said he had expected the leaves to be less colorful this year and possibly suffer from leaf spot diseases after the unusually wet summer, but the recent dry period helped prevent that.

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