I’m not a betting man, but if I lived in the upper Savannah River Basin, I’d think Mother Nature was trying to tell me something.
In August, the Hartwell sub-basin collected 4.185 inches of rain; the previous month, 4.181 inches.
The only problem with these lucky, almost identical numbers is that they fell three-quarters to one inch shy of Hartwell’s averages for those months. And that, combined with high temperatures, evaporation and transpiration rates could spell lower levels for the reservoir as the recreation season winds down.
Luckily for the basin, Russell and Thurmond made up the difference. Russell received 4.2 inches, while Thurmond grabbed 5.4 inches (both sub-basins average 3.7 inches in August).
The other basin
In the past few years the basin has received some indirect rainfall benefits (without the risk of being close to the damaging winds) as a result of active hurricane seasons in the Atlantic basin.
Although Savannah’s brush with Hurricane Dorian brought minimal rainfall, it was a good opportunity for coastal Georgians to dust off their hurricane kits, prepare for the storm and re-establish ties with their upstate friends and relatives.
We, along with other federal and local officials, had the chance to practice our role – which included pre- and post-harbor and shipping lane hydrographic assessments, and coordination with multiple partner agencies – without the recovery and debris removal aspects. Other areas, even those not that far from Savannah, weren’t so fortunate.
Dorian’s arrival this early in September served as a warm-up for the Savannah River Basin, but is also a reminder that we’re not out of the peak season yet. Now is a good time to evaluate your preparedness and make any necessary changes.
So given that Hartwell averages 4.58 inches of rain in September, is there any chance it’ll be 4.18 for the third straight month?
I wouldn’t bet on it.
~ Jeremy S. Buddemeier, Corporate Communications Office