Basin records above-average rainfall for May

By Tracy Robillard, Public Affairs Specialist

So far it’s been a great year for consistent, normal rainfall. This trend continued through the month of May when we recorded above-average rainfall (again) throughout the basin.

This graph shows observed (actual) rainfall compared to the monthly average rainfall for both the Hartwell and Thurmond sub-basins in May 2013.

This graph shows observed (actual) rainfall compared to the monthly average rainfall for both the Hartwell and Thurmond sub-basins in May 2013.

The Hartwell sub-basin received 5.24 inches of rain, exceeding the May average of 4.6 inches. Thurmond received 4.63 inches, surpassing the month’s average of 3.7 inches; and Russell recorded 4.95 inches, topping the 3.6-inch average. This was the wettest May for all three reservoirs since 2010.

Additionally, the Broad River reached a flow rate of 97 percent on May 31, one of the highest we’ve seen this year and a healthy indicator of substantial inflow to the basin.

We’re off to a good start for June as well. In just the first three days of the month, we recorded more than one inch of rain at Hartwell and a half inch at Thurmond.

As we enter the hot summer months, the rate of evaporation and transpiration will increase, causing more water to escape from the reservoirs. Our water managers adjusted their projections for the next 10 weeks to reflect updated weather forecasts. We expect both the Hartwell and Thurmond pools to gradually decline about three and half feet between now and mid-August. However, our current projections show that both pools should remain above the drought level 1 trigger (level 1 is reached when either the Hartwell or Thurmond pools decline four feet below full pool).

The bottom line is there’s plenty of water at the reservoirs to enjoy all summer long. Whether you’re boating, swimming, fishing, camping or just taking in the scenery, please be safe and wear your life jacket while in, on or near the water.

About US Army Corps of Engineers Savannah District

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Savannah District oversees a multi-million dollar military construction program at 11 Army and Air Force installations in Georgia and North Carolina. We also manage water resources across the Coastal Georgia region, including maintenance dredging of the Savannah and Brunswick harbors; operation of three hydroelectric dams and reservoirs along the upper Savannah River; and administration of an extensive stream and wetland permitting and mitigation program within the state of Georgia. Follow us on Twitter @SavannahCorps and on Facebook.com/SavannahCorps
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