Fall in S.A. is wettest ever, with weeks to go

Mark for three au­tumn months bro­ken in two

San Antonio Express-News (Sunday) - - Metro - By S.M. Chavey STAFF WRITER sarah.chavey @ex­press-news.com | @sm­chavey

With less than 30 days to go, San An­to­nio has al­ready sur­passed the record for its wettest fall — me­te­o­ro­log­i­cally speak­ing — in his­tory.

San An­to­nio re­ceived 23.33 inches of rain dur­ing Septem­ber and Oc­to­ber, break­ing a record of 19.64 inches set in 1998.

The same was true for Texas as a whole.

State cli­ma­tol­o­gist John Nielsen-Gam­mon said plen­ti­ful rain in Septem­ber and Oc­to­ber made it eas­ily the wettest two-month pe­riod on record statewide. Septem­ber was the fourth-wettest month on record, with 6.77 inches of rain on av­er­age in Texas. Oc­to­ber was even wet­ter, with over 7 inches on av­er­age, which made it the sec­ond-wettest month on record.

Be­fore the rains came, the sum­mer was one of the hottest, dri­est on record in Texas. Nielsen-Gam­mon said statewide tem­per­a­tures from May through Au­gust were tied for sec­ond hottest and that the sum­mer was also drier than usual.

San An­to­nio, too, had its share of sum­mer mis­ery: May was the third hottest on record, and June also was the third hottest on record. Less than an inch of rain in each month, just a quar­ter of the av­er­age amount, made for a mild drought.

“It’s fairly com­mon to fol- low droughts with heavy rain­fall. That hap­pened in 1957 and 2015, where you had ex­tended drought fol­lowed by rain and flood­ing,” Nielsen-Gam­mon said.

Galve­ston found that out: 45 inches of rain in the past two months, the most in the state.

In San An­to­nio, the 16.86 inches that fell in Septem­ber made it the wettest on record. Oc­to­ber was 15th wettest, with 6.47 inches. (The wettest recorded Oc­to­ber — 18.07 inches — came in 1998, when San An­to­nio and the re­gion ex­pe­ri­enced a deadly flood.)

Those two months plus Novem­ber make up what me­te­o­rol­o­gists clas­sify as fall.

Na­tional Weather Ser­vice meteorologist Yvette Be­na­vides said that even if no rain falls this month, which is un­likely, San An­to­nio’s rain to­tal so far this fall has al­ready ex­ceeded the pre­vi­ous three-month record. That was 23.04 inches, set in 2004. The av­er­age rain­fall for San An­to­nio in Novem­ber is 2.28 inches.

The very rainy fall recharged the Ed­wards Aquifer, the re­gion’s main source of drink­ing water. As of Fri­day, it regis­tered 683.8 feet above sea level at the San An­to­nio pool, which is 17 feet above av­er­age for this time of year. It has gained more than 20 feet since May and erased re­stric­tions on out­door wa­ter­ing or pump­ing that had been put in place this sum­mer.

Josie Nor­ris / Staff pho­tog­ra­pher

Pedes­tri­ans at­tempt to keep dry on Av­enue E in down­town on Oct. 24, dur­ing a month that saw 6.47 inches of rain fall on San An­to­nio.

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