July Almost Driest Month on Record

drought2from Online Athens

Elberton, Athens amd Northeast Georgia narrowly missed setting a record for having the driest July on record as drought deepened across the Southeast — but only because of a chance thunderstorm.

On July 31, the last day of the month, an isolated storm dumped more than inch of rain at Athens-Ben Epps Airport, where the official National Weather Service gauge is located. Meanwhile, other parts of the county got just traces of precipitation, or no rain at all.

“Everything just lined up for that cell to go over the airport,” said Pam Knox, a University of Georgia climatologist. “That’s just the nature of thunderstorms.”

Before the July 31 thunderstorm, the rain gauge at the airport had recorded just 0.43 inches for the entire month, but the 1.17 inches recorded July 31 brought the monthly total to 1.60 inches.

Average July rainfall in the area is 4.47 inches.

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