Although 2018 was not the wettest in Athens, it sure felt like it and actually came close.
As reported in the Athens Banner-Herald, Athens experienced over 69 inches of rainfall during 2018, nearly 23 inches above normal. It’s the second-highest total in the official National Weather Service record, which goes as far back as 1944, and it is the third-highest in records that go all the way back to 1857.
1929 was the wettest year for Athens in those records when 72.37 inches of rain fell, followed by 1964, the wettest year in the official record, when the rain gauge at Athens Ben-Epps Airport collected a total of 71.39 inches.
Based on a 30-year average, normal rainfall for Athens is 46.21 inches.
Athens is just one of several cities in the Southeast that have had record or near-record rain in 2018.
Baltimore passed its previous record of 62.66 in November and by the end of the December was more than 9 inches above the previous record with over 71 inches for the year.
Washington, D.C., had its wettest year in observations going back 129 years.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the area stretching from Texas through southern and eastern states to Pennsylvania and west to Montana saw unusually big rainfall totals for 2018 and Sioux Falls, South Dakota also set a new one-year record.
More than 102 inches of rain fell in Wilmington, North Carolina, which is about 45 inches more than average, but Hurricane Florence had much to do with that.
Although Florence brought record rains and flooding in North Carolina, Wilmington’s yearly total would still be the second-highest on record, the Weather Channel reported.
Rainfall was only below average in Athens during March and September.
However, about two-thirds of Athens’ surplus came in three months. Rainfall in May was 6.31 inches above average. November’s rainfall of 7.35 inches was more than twice average, and December’s 10.85 inches was more than triple December’s normal 3.61 inches.
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