Despite lackluster results for the past several months, wet weather staged a comeback for the last month of winter and proved to be enough to push the sub-basins back to par.
But it didn’t come easy – each sub-basin relied on relatively heavy 24-48 hour rain events to approach or exceed its monthly rainfall average.
At Hartwell Lake, morning showers on Groundhog Day, Feb. 2, and Feb. 17 produced more than one inch of rain apiece, combining for roughly half of the month’s 4.4 inches. However, the sub-basin still achieved less than 90 percent of its average for the month (5 inches).
Similarly, Russell Lake received 4.4 inches throughout the month, with greater than one inch falling around Groundhog Day, and most of the rest trickling in over the last two weeks in the month. This precipitation pushed Russell over its average (4.2 inches).
Finally, Thurmond netted 5.1 inches, surpassing its 4.4-inch average by more than 15 percent.
Looking ahead, March has been known to be the wettest month of the year, on average, in the past 66 years of record keeping. For Hartwell, March’s average is 5.9 inches, Russell: 4.8 inches, and Thurmond: 4.7 inches.
Last year, each of the sub-basins received more than an inch of rain between March 16-17, so no doubt those who have hopes of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day outdoors will be nervously watching the forecast for those days this year.
So will the wettest month rain on their parade? I’m no meteorologist, but I’d be hard-pressed to bet against the luck of the Irish on St. Patrick’s Day.
~Jeremy S. Buddemeier, Public Affairs Specialist