Macon sets June rainfall record, Warner Robins going ahead with Independence Celebration plans

lfabian@macon.comJuly 1, 2013 

June proved to be soggy in the midstate, with Macon’s 12.25 inches of rain setting a record for the month.

And skies show no sign of drying out.

This week, rainfall of at least 2 to 3 inches is expected to trigger flash flooding in parts of Middle Georgia and could swamp annual Fourth of July celebrations.

With more than a 60 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms Wednesday afternoon and evening, Warner Robins has decided to go on as scheduled with its Independence Day Celebration, according to a new release Monday evening from Ruby Hamb-Holmes, the city’s public information officer. Gates will open at 6 p.m. and the concert is scheduled for 8 p.m. Musical performances by Stillwater, Bobbie Eakes and New Generation (the rock ensemble of the Band of the U.S. Air Force Reserve) are contingent on the weather.

The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch from Tuesday afternoon until Friday morning with an unusual weather pattern expected to bring copious amounts of moisture to Georgia over the next few days.

East Georgia already has received about 3 inches of rain in the past few days, and additional rain is expected to run off the saturated soil.

The watch covers Baldwin, Clarke, Emanuel, Glascock, Greene, Hancock, Jefferson, Johnson, Laurens, Montgomery, Morgan, Oconee, Oglethorpe, Putnam, Taliaferro, Telfair, Toombs, Treutlen, Warren, Washington, Wheeler, Wilkes and Wilkinson counties.

Other parts of the midstate will be ripe for severe thunderstorms unleashing potentially heavy rain, wind gusts up to 60 mph and the possibility of frequent lightning.

On average, the Middle Georgia Regional Airport in south Bibb County picks up 4.06 inches of rain during June, so this year’s bounty is 8.19 inches above that, or 302 percent of normal precipitation.

The airport’s second wettest June came in 2003 when 9.75 inches of rain fell.

During last year’s drought, just 3.04 inches fell during the month.

Since Jan. 1, this is Macon’s wettest period in 121 years, said Bill Murphey, state climatologist.

The 40.92 inches of rain collected at the airport through June 30 is 16.8 inches above normal for the year to date.

By comparison, Macon’s second-wettest first half of the year was 40.69 inches in 1929.

Macon received a total of just 32.41 inches of rain in 2012, when the city was in the grips of severe drought, Murphey wrote in an email.

“So this year, we’re actually already well ahead of our annual total from last year,” he said.

According to National Weather Service climate data, June 5 was June 2013’s wettest day when 2.73 inches of rain fell at the airport. It tied with June 11, 1946, for the 9th-wettest June day.

Macon also set a daily record rainfall on June 23 with a total of 1.63 inches this year, drowning the previous record of 1.29 inches set in 1928.

The wettest June day on record occurred in 1923 when 6.77 inches of rain fell.

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