Thursday, July 11, 2013

Some wild rainfall numbers from our crazy summer

The seemingly endless string of rainy days this summer in Charlotte and elsewhere in the western Carolinas is keeping National Weather Service meteorologist John Tomko very busy.

Tomko keeps statistics at the Weather Service's office in Greer, S.C., and he's amazed at some of what has happened in recent weeks.

"It's really hard to believe, in a way," says Tomko, who has been at the Greer office for nearly two decades. "The numbers are wild."

Today's flooding in northwest Charlotte is merely the latest chapter.  In recent weeks, we've had significant flooding events in Mecklenburg, Lincoln and Cabarrus counties on June 28; in Anson, Cabarrus, Stanly and Montgomery counties on June 30; in Caldwell and Watauga counties twice last week; and most recently on Wednesday in Asheville.

And that's not a complete list.

Tomko lives in Polk County, along the N.C.-S.C. border, north of Greenville-Spartanburg.

"So far we've had 51.5 inches of rain at my house this year," he said. "That's about the average for the entire year."

Here are some other statistics, courtesy of Tomko and myself:

-- Rain has fallen somewhere in Mecklenburg County daily since June 23.

-- Since June 1, more than 11.7 inches has fallen at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Charlotte's official measuring station. That compares to 5.18 inches in an average year during that time.

-- Parts of northern Mecklenburg and Cabarrus counties have received more than 16 inches since June 1.

-- Rain has fallen on 79 of the 192 days so far this year in Charlotte. That puts us on pace for the 10th-highest number of rainy days in a year.

-- Asheville, which has received about 15 more inches than Charlotte so far in 2013, is only 18 inches away from setting a record for the whole year. The city would have to average only 2.8 inches a month for the rest of the year to break a record. That's very possible.\

-- Greenville-Spartanburg is on pace for its second-rainiest year on record.

-- Thanks to the rain and clouds, we've had only four 90-degree days this year in Charlotte. The record for the smallest number of 90-degree days is eight.  So we're likely to finish with one of the smallest number of 90-degree days in a single year.

 -- Meteorological summer runs from June 1-Aug. 31.  So far, our 11.7 inches during that period puts us on pace for the wettest summer ever.

The scary thing is we haven't entered the heart of hurricane season.  If a couple dying tropical storms were to pass through the region, we easily could pick up 4, 5 or 6 inches in a single day.

By the way, we're not alone.  Toronto set a single-day rainfall record earlier this week, with more than 5 inches falling in many parts of the city as thunderstorms repeatedly formed and crossed the area. They're under part of the same pattern that has brought the heavy rain to the Carolinas this summer.


Billaryl Clinton said...

Yikes! If Hussein Obama could only tax the rain, we would have enough revenue to fund Obamacare. Stay tuned!

lkmi said...

I consider the lack of many 90-degree days to be one of several advantages of the rain we've been having. That, and how well my home garden is doing!

Anonymous said...

Billaryl: if only Georgie Bush could have taxed rain he wouldn't have added all those billions to the deficit with his wonderfully successful war on terror. Why don't you get your panties in a wad over that?

Billaryl Clinton said...

Yikes! If Georgie Bush could only have taxed the rain, we would have had enough revenue to fund his wonderfully successful war on terror.

Happy now, Annoymous @ 4:10'? Why don't you get your panties in a wad over that?


Anonymous said...

Ye must not talk poorly of King Obama!

Obama Again In 2016! said...

Yikes! Georgie Bush is no longer in office to tax the rain, so Anonymous @4:10 will have to rely on Barry Soetoro (aka Hussein Obama, First African Potentate of the Banana Republic of America) to increase the deficit to fund his Third World healthcare, and his war on the liberties of Americans he deems a threat. And, there may be enough left over to help pay for Anonymous @4:10's welfare handouts, drugs, and a couple new "Coexist" stickers for his older sister's hand-me-down 1991 Civic.

One goofball President follows another...

Toby Granderson, Jr said...

Come now, let's be nice. This is about the weather. You think we will ever see the sun again?

Snuffy said...

It will clear up by July 25. How do I know? That's when I return to work after being on extended leave since the first week of June. It always rains on my days off, whether it's one day or 30!!

Sorriest Summer said...

Five years of drought, then we suddenly become a sub-tropical rain forest. One sorry extreme to the next.