The hem of Barbara Miles’ blue jeans soaked up some rain Tuesday morning as she strolled along Second Street.
Sheltered under her blue umbrella and matching raincoat, she didn’t care.
“I love it,” Miles said of the change in the weather.
Macon had not seen a drop of rain since 0.2 inches fell Oct. 7.
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The 52-day dry spell was the longest on record, Georgia Climatologist Bill Murphey said.
The second-driest stretch happened in 1893 when Macon went without rain for 47 days.
“At this stage, any drop at this point helps — especially looking at the wildfires,” Murphey said.
Macon-Bibb County firefigthers battled a brush fire late Monday on the west side and were out fighting another woods fire on the east side early Tuesday as the rain was soaking northwest Georgia.
By 2 a.m. Tuesday, Atlanta ended its record 43-day spell without rain. The National Weather Service in Peachtree City reported 2.32 inches of rain fell in Atlanta by 4 p.m., the most rain the city has seen in a single day this year.
As of 11 a.m., Hartsfield-Jackson Airport had received 2.32 inches of rain, Murphey said.
“That’s a good thing. A couple of inches — I’ll take it,” he said.
A large swath of rain fell from Heard County on the Alabama border, through Newnan and up through Fulton County and into Forsyth County.
“It will take a while to seep into the soil, since it’s been so dry,” Murphey said. “We’re going to have some runoff.”
Drought conditions that have plagued parts of the state since March will linger for a while even with the return of rain.
“At this stage it’s better than nothing, but I don’t see any drought-busting yet. But it helped,” Murphey said.
The heavier downpours dwindled by the time the line of showers reached Macon just after 7:30 a.m. Tuesday.
Several accidents were reported across Bibb County, where oily residue built up on the roads in recent weeks.
Macon received about .47 inches of rain on Tuesday, according to the NWS.
The return of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico keeps the chance of rain in the forecast late Wednesday into Thursday and promises another round Saturday night into Monday.
Less than three-quarters of an inch of rain is expected in Macon with the next system.
“With the Gulf opening up, this is really key to ending the drought,” Murphey said.