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February could see record rainfall in Augusta

Friday, Feb. 22, 2013 8:14 PM
Last updated Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013 1:56 PM
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With 7.53 inches of rain already tallied, this month is on its way to becoming the wettest February ever recorded in Augusta.

It unofficially ranks sixth, but with more rain on the way it could reach No. 1.

Today’s forecast includes an 80 percent chance of rain, with 2 to 4 inches expected Monday, said Leonard Vaughan, of the National Wea­ther Service in West Co­lumbia, S.C.

That comes on the heels of the driest January on record. Only 0.60 inch of rain fell last month.

The record status won’t be official until rainfall totals have been reported for the month, Vaughan said.

If the record is reached, it might be credited to a correction made by climatologists who found a discrepancy in rainfall totals recorded in February 1899.

During research, Vaughan said, climatologists found that the weather service and the Georgia Crop Report reported 10.55 inches fell in February that year. When the original observer sheet for Bush Field was pulled, though, they discovered that 0.52 inch of rain that fell Jan. 31 was reported for Feb. 1 because of the times that gauges were read then.

Rain gauges were recorded around 8 a.m. each day for the previous day’s rainfall. Now it is recorded at midnight, he said.

Vaughan said rain ended at Bush Field at 4:55 p.m. Jan. 31. When the gauge was read at 7:33 a.m. Feb. 1, the 0.52 inch reported was recorded for the wrong date, he said.

The corrected rainfall for February is 10.03 inches.

Today’s temperatures are expected to be around 50 with an 80 percent chance of rain. Saturday night will be mostly cloudy with a low in the mid-40s and a 30 percent chance of rain.

Sunday will be sunny with highs in the upper 60s. Rain is expected to return Monday with a 70 percent chance and highs in the mid-50s.


The 10 wettest Februarys on record, according to the National Weather Service:

1. 189910.03 inches
2. 19399.61 inches
3. 19298.91 inches
4. 18978.57 inches
5. 19617.67 inches
6. 19037.46 inches
7. 19797.34 inches
8. 19877.23 inches
9. 18747.22 inches
10. 18947.09 inches
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Riverman1 02/23/13 - 08:26 am
Rain makes me happy. Everyone

Rain makes me happy. All of us on the lake AND river love it.

Rob Pavey 02/23/13 - 11:22 am
All this rain is great, HOWEVER.....

I wish more of it was falling above clarks hill dam - looks like Augusta's getting drenched but not much is falling up in lincoln, elbert, abbeville and mccormick counties - but every little but helps.

southern2 02/23/13 - 12:46 pm
Can't understand why they are

Can't understand why they are holding Clarks Hill at 319. The Savannah River is swollen as well as area streams and creeks yet the COE continues with unnecessary releases. Are they trying to cause flooding downriver? Rainfall for the month is already at 4.5" at Thurmond while Hartwell shows less at 3+" but has been allowed to rise to only 6 1/2' low. What happened to balancing these two lakes?

Riverman1 02/23/13 - 03:20 pm
Southern2, keep in mind, the

Southern2, keep in mind, the river is also dependent on higher levels some days to balance out the lows. It's a dynamic thing with the wetlands and moisture content of the soil. I did notice what Rob mentioned about not much rain being above the lake. I was hoping there would be a lot more to help it, but it's not over yet. It could happen. The lake has come up a lot. It's almost at 320 ft now and average pool is only 326.

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