July 2013 was an extremely wet month for the local area, which includes southeast Alabama, southwest Georgia, and the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend. Widespread totals of 10 to 20 inches of rain were common, with isolated amounts up to nearly 30 inches. It was also a wet month in general for much of the southeast United States.
Measurable rainfall (at least 0.01") occurred on 25 of 31 July days (81%) at the Tallahassee Airport, with rain being reported (at least a trace amount) on all but one July day (97%). For the months of July and August together - 17 days at Tallahassee had at least one half inch of rain, which is a record. The period of record at Tallahassee stretches back to 1896.
July 2013 was the wettest July on record for the state of Florida, with an average rainfall of 12.38 inches (4.91" above average). It was also the fourth wettest July on record for the states of Alabama and Georgia.
Geneva, Alabama, which was affected by heavy rainfall and flooding in February, ended the month of July with a year-to-date rainfall total of 62.70 inches, which was a record. That total exceeded the previous record from 1991 by 4.41 inches, and it exceeded the normal rainfall for January-July by a whopping 26.36 inches.
At official climate sites, rainfall departures from normal for just the month of July included: +15.35" at Cross City, +11.62" at Dothan, +7.79" at Tallahassee, +5.24" at Apalachicola, +2.74" at Valdosta and +2.17" at Albany.
The five highest rainfall totals that we received for July 2013 were in the western portion of our Florida panhandle counties - in the general vicinity of Panama City. They were, in order: 28.28" at Greenhead, 27.76" near Inlet Beach, 26.02" in Panama City (at Hwy 231 & East Ave.), 25.14" near Panama City Beach, and 24.96" at Lynn Haven.
The Lynn Haven, Florida observer site has had expected rainfall return periods computed for it that are available through the Hydrometeorological Design Studies Center. Lynn Haven had 24.96 inches of rain in July, which compares to around a 25-50 year expected return interval for a thirty day rainfall. However, 30-day rainfall in the Lynn Haven & Panama City area that is closer to 28-29 inches would be closer to a 100 year expected return interval, and such rainfall totals occurred in isolated instances during the month of July in those areas.
For a listing of rainfall totals for July 2013 from over 100 stations in our area:
|PDF Rainfall Totals by Amount|
|PDF Rainfall Totals by County (Alphabetical)|
|CSV data file|
For more information on the heavy rain event on just July 2-4, 2013, see our event writeup here.
In addition to our normal text products and point-and-click forecasts that you can get on our home page, we provided notice about the potential for heavy rainfall and flooding on our social media accounts prior to the heavy rain in early July. By following these accounts, you can stay informed! Here are a few examples:
East coast heavy rain pattern setting up weekend --> early next week, incl. Tallahassee. pic.twitter.com/JZ8CF8iBbq— NWS Tallahassee (@NWSTallahassee) June 26, 2013
The last section of this article will include some charts to put some of the rainfall totals in historical context. First is a chart that compares January to July rainfall totals at Geneva, Alabama. You can see that 2013 is in first place.
Although the chart below says "Panama City, FL", it is for the cooperative observer location 5 miles north of Panama City in Lynn Haven. The chart shows July rainfall totals for that location dating back to 1972. You can see that 2013 is also in first place on this chart.
Lynn Haven, Florida received approximately 41% of their normal YEARLY rainfall in one month (July).