Valdosta Daily Times

July 21, 2013

Catching up on rainfall

Valdosta’s behind for the year, but gaining ground fast

Terry Richards
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Despite a spate of rainy days in the last couple of months, Valdosta is actually running slightly below normal for rainfall in 2013, according to forecasters.

From June 1-July 19, Valdosta had 8.79 inches of rain, according to the Georgia Automated Environmental Monitoring Network. For the same period last year, the city had 11.01 inches.

Some nearby towns have had considerably more rain than Valdosta in the last couple of months. From June 1-July 19, Tifton clocked in with 17.34 inches, Moultrie had 17.69 inches and Homerville had 17.17 inches.

Valdosta was five inches below normal for the year earlier in 2013, but since June a pickup in rainfall has narrowed the gap to one inch, said Kelly Godsey, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Tallahassee, Fla.

“Valdosta is making up ground quickly,” he said.

A general weather pattern of low pressure over the eastern United States is driving storm activity from the Great Lakes through the Southeast, said Mike Pigott, senior meteorologist with AccuWeather.com.

The moist southerly flow is contributing to “a lot of thunderstorms across the Southeast,” he said.

A pattern of increased tropical moisture has settled in across North Florida and South Georgia, with the heaviest rains generally to Valdosta’s West, Godsey said.

“This is one of the wetter summers of late,” he said.

Pigott said that “almost every year, I find that somewhere in the South is dealing in dry weather,” but not so much in 2013.

Godsey said that summer is generally a wetter time of the year in the region.

Soil moisture levels across all of Georgia are above normal, Pigott said. This could have an impact on river flooding, though not so much for sudden flash flooding, he said.

Both forecasters said the rainy days may stick around for a while. Pigott said “wetter than normal” conditions could extend into early fall, while Godsey said the rain may hold on through September, when daily thunderstorms seem to diminish.