How Wet was October?

After being in a drought much of the last three years, several sites across north and central Georgia has received some of the highest rainfall in the past month or so. For instance, October 2009 is the second wettest October ever at both Atlanta and Athens. The only October that had more rainfall in Atlanta was 1995 when the remnants of Hurricane Opal moved across the area early in the month bringing more than 8 inches to Atlanta over a three day period. The 2009 year in Athens will be second only to October of 1937 when Athens received 11.23 inches of rain. The following table shows the top ten wettest Octobers at Atlanta, Athens, Columbus and Macon:

Atlanta
WETTEST
YEAR RAINFALL
1995 11.04
2009 8.71
1966 7.53
1959 7.14
1932 6.90
1937 6.30
1970 6.29
1915 6.15
1990 6.12
1914 6.04
Athens
WETTEST
YEAR RAINFALL
1937 11.23
2009 9.14
1918 8.21
1914 7.95
1997 7.75
1964 7.73
1986 7.65
1977 7.41
1898 7.40
1995 7.29
Macon
WETTEST
YEAR RAINFALL
1959 9.39
1915 8.46
1929 7.49
1994 7.36
1970 7.16
1966 6.61
2009 6.37
1993 6.37
1990 6.31
1911 5.96
Columbus
WETTEST
YEAR RAINFALL
1995 8.41
1964 8.09
1959 6.59
2009 6.39
2008 5.48
1975 5.42
1994 5.41
1976 5.06
1966 4.70
1970 4.47

Looking at rainfall amounts since September 1, Athens and Macon was the wettest 61 day period for September and October on record, while Atlanta was number 2 and Columbus was number 3. It is interesting to note that the rainfall experienced this year is in no way attributable to a landfalling Tropical Storm or Hurricane. A look back through the National Hurricane Center's Archives shows that the remnants of Tropical Storm Irene impacted Columbus October 6-10th, 1959; Hurricane Dora affected Columbus September 9-12, 1964; and the remnants of Hurricane Opal impacted both Columbus and Atlanta October 3-6th, 1995. Unfortunately data on tropical storms in 1888 and 1937 was unavailable.


Atlanta
WETTEST
YEAR RAINFALL
1888 18.25
2009 17.65
2004 15.84
1995 13.56
1989 13.35
1929 13.23
2002 12.33
1898 11.39
1992 11.39
1988 11.35
Athens
WETTEST
YEAR RAINFALL
2009 19.00
1989 16.15
1929 15.56
1997 14.54
1898 13.76
2004 12.82
1957 12.66
1970 12.63
1937 11.98
1918 11.61
Macon
WETTEST
YEAR RAINFALL
2009 17.05
2004 14.32
1929 13.44
1924 13.05
1959 12.77
2000 11.59
1976 10.62
1956 9.96
1915 9.81
1988 9.79
Columbus
WETTEST
YEAR RAINFALL
1964 12.89
1995 12.11
2009 11.69
2004 10.83
1976 10.03
1959 9.90
1994 8.87
1965 8.80
1975 8.27
1951 8.18

 

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