August is wettest on record, with more rain expected

Monday, Aug 27, 2012 12:21 PM
Last updated Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012 1:29 AM
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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.


Source: Southeast Climate Center

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Fools_and_sages 08/27/12 - 02:19 pm
Drought status

I would like to know how our local meteorologists are assessing drought status in Augusta. I don't trust them because they seem surprised when the thermometer regularly tops out at 87 on a day they forecast a 95 degree temp even though it was rainy and cloudy. I've also seen one of them try to cook eggs on the sidewalk on tv in the summer. Such shenanigans does not instill much confidence.

Getting 9.75 inches of rain does not mean 9.75 inches of rain was absorbed by the soil. A drought means your soil is dry well below the surface and your local water table is low. Getting 3, 4, 5 inches of rain in one day produces a lot of run-off that never soaks into the soil. You can't just look at a beaker say, "We got 9.75 inches of rain this month, so our moisture deficit decreased by 9.75 inches." It doesn't work that way. If we were at a deficit of about 15.25 inches when August began. and they're saying we have deficit of only 5.5 inches, they think 9.75 inches of moisture was soaked up by the soil. This isn't correct. Most of it ran down the sewers. Anybody who has ever taken basic geology knows that. Until The Lake, local ponds, and local creeks are at normal levels again, the drought isn't over. The pond behind my house is still a foot lower than it was three years ago. Until it regains that foot of water, we've got a drought-- regardless of the fuzzy math by our local weather people.

just an opinion
just an opinion 08/27/12 - 10:34 pm
Slow Down The Dam!

To Corp of Engineers: Why not slow it down? There will be plenty of runoff to take care of the fish and industries downstream. What will your excuse be this time? Didn't know it was going to rain?

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