2018 sets rain­fall record of 67 inches for the area

The Catoosa County News - - FRONT PAGE - By Dee D. Decker [email protected]­er­mes­sen­ger.com

An es­pe­cially rainy De­cem­ber made 2018 was the wettest year on record for the Ten­nessee River Val­ley and North­west Ge­or­gia with a to­tal of 67.01 inches of rain, top­ping the pre­vi­ous record of 65.1 inches set in 1973.

While that was good for crops — up to a point — the heavy rain and num­ber of rain days also slowed plant­ing and har­vest­ing, as well as con­struc­tion of high­way projects and busi­ness and res­i­den­tial con­struc­tion projects across the area.

Rain­fall for the year was more than 140 per­cent of nor­mal and runoff more than 200 per­cent of nor­mal, said James Everett, se­nior man­ager for TVA’S River Fore­cast Cen­ter, both boosted by hur­ri­canes Florence and Michael and Win­ter Storm Diego.

Metro At­lanta also set a record of 70.03 inches as it re­ceived al­most 1 foot of rain in De­cem­ber alone, which is three times the av­er­age monthly rain­fall.

For Ge­or­gia over­all, 2018 was the sec­ond wettest year on record, with 20 inches above the av­er­age.

There was more rain the last two weeks of the year than the Ten­nessee Val­ley typ­i­cally sees in a month — even dur­ing the wettest months. “We got the en­tire month’s av­er­age in just the last two weeks,” Na­tional Weather Ser­vice me­te­o­rol­o­gist Sam Roberts said.

Nearly 5 inches of rain in Chat­tanooga from De­cem­ber 14 through New Year’s Eve helped push the Ten­nessee Val­ley to a new record rain­fall. The TVA util­ity com­pany tracks weather pat­terns for the 41,000-square-mile, seven-state Ten­nessee Val­ley area and has rain­fall data go­ing back 129 years.

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