Observed rainfall totals for July ranked above-average at the Russell sub-basin and below average at the Hartwell and Thurmond sub-basins.
The Russell sub-basin received 106 percent of normal rainfall for the month recording 4.7 inches. The average July rainfall at Russell is 4.3 inches.
The Thurmond sub-basin received 74 percent of normal rainfall for the month. Thurmond rainfall measured 3.2 inches, falling short of the July average of 4.3 inches.
The Hartwell sub-basin received 64.1 percent of normal rainfall, recording 3.4 inches. The July average at Hartwell is 5.2 inches.
July’s largest rain event occurred July 31 over the Russell sub-basin, dumping 1.8 inches of rain within 24 hours. The second largest rain event occurred July 19 at the Hartwell sub-basin with 1.6 inches of rain.
Reservoir levels declined throughout July as previously predicted, due to a variety of factors: including increased amounts of water lost due to evaporation and transpiration; increased demand for hydroelectric power due to hotter temperatures; and reduced amounts of rainfall and inflows to the basin.
Although dry conditions began to develop in the last few weeks, the U.S. Drought Monitor suggests the trend is short-term. The most recent seasonal drought outlook (published July 17) indicates the Savannah River Basin is expected to be free from drought conditions through the end of October. The ENSO forecast continues to forecast neutral conditions throughout early 2015. Our water managers monitor basin conditions closely and will make adjustments as conditions change.
~Tracy Robillard, public affairs specialist