Setting the stage

Well, there’s one thing you can say about July’s rainfall: it wasn’t June, but it also wasn’t May, either. (Or is that two things?)

The Savannah River Basin took an abnormally dry month (May), chased it with an abnormally wet month (June) and followed that with something in-between (July).

Last month the Hartwell sub-basin bested Thurmond and Russell, collecting 4.2 inches compared to its 5.1-inch average. Thurmond and Russell received 3.1 and 2.7 inches, respectively, compared to their 4.2-inch averages.

It definitely wasn’t the worst the sub-basins have ever fared in July – that honor belongs to July 2007 when Hartwell collected about three-quarters of an inch. Similarly, Russell’s and Thurmond’s nadirs came in 1980 (1.1 inches) and 1993 (1.11 inches), respectively.

Interesting enough, all three sub-basins had their best showing for July in 2013: Hartwell collected a whopping 13.53 inches, while Thurmond and Russell received 10 and 9.57 inches, respectively.

In summary, this past month’s rainfall fits in seasonally the same way it does compared to the all-time numbers for July: easily forgettable.

Now that July – the opening act – is behind us, our attention shifts to the main event: hurricane season.

NOAA released its updated predictions yesterday regarding the 2019 season, which upped the probability that we’ll see above-average activity now that El Niño has ended.

Of course, when talking about probabilities and predictions everything should be taken with a grain of salt, so long as that grain also includes the fact that last year was the third consecutive year of above average activity.

Here’s how NOAA’s last two predictions panned out:
2018 NOAA mid-season prediction (Aug. 8, 2018): 9-13 named storms, 4-7 hurricanes, 0-2 major hurricanes.
2018 results: 15 named storms, 8 hurricanes, 2 major hurricanes (Florence and Michael) $50B in damage.

2017 NOAA mid-season prediction (Aug. 9, 2017): 14-19 named storms, though retaining 5-9 hurricanes and 2-5 major hurricanes.
2017 results: 17 named storms, 10 hurricanes, and 6 major hurricanes. Costliest tropical cyclone season on record ($294B).

Though hurricane season officially runs from June to November, the majority of blockbuster storms historically hit between August and October.

And whether you’re a gambler or not, it’s a safe bet to start updating your hurricane preparation kits and procedures. Here’s a good place to start:

~ Jeremy S. Buddemeier, Corporate Communications Office

About U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Savannah District

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Savannah District oversees a multimillion 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
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