Labor Day showers reflect record-breaking rainfall
by Eddie Burkhalter
eburkhalter@annistonstar.com
Sep 02, 2013 | 3379 views |  0 comments | 49 49 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Lightning streaks across the sky early on Labor Day morning as pre-dawn storms dumped heavy rains and the sky put on a dazzling lightning show. Much of the summer of 2013 has seen similar weather.  (Photo by Trent Penny)
Lightning streaks across the sky early on Labor Day morning as pre-dawn storms dumped heavy rains and the sky put on a dazzling lightning show. Much of the summer of 2013 has seen similar weather. (Photo by Trent Penny)
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Labor Day morning was a wet one in Calhoun County, and that should have come as little surprise.

Today's thunderstorms reflected a summer of heavier than usual rainfall and cooler temperatures across the state.

Through Sept. 1, Anniston has received 57.9 inches of rain this year, according to the National Weather Service. That’s 25.5 inches more than the Model City saw by the same time last year.

“We’ve had an extremely wet summer,” said said Gary Goggins, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Calera.

A pattern of cold air coming down from the north spawned showers and storms that kept Calhoun County wetter and cooler than normal over the summer, Goggins explained.

With four months left this year, Anniston is just 11.2 inches away of breaking the all-time rainiest year on record, when in 1975 the city received 69.1 inches of rain.

All that rain also brought cooler than normal temperatures this summer, Goggins said.

Anniston’s average temperature in June was one degree higher than last year’s average, but in July the city recorded an average temperature of 77.7 degrees, which is 4.2 degrees cooler than last July. August’s average of 77.6 degrees was also almost a degree cooler than last year.

The next couple of months are typically the driest months of the year, Goggins said, but that could change if abnormally high rainfall amounts continue.

“As of right now it looks like the (rain) will continue for at least the short term, but we’ll have to see if the drier pattern sets up for September and October,” Goggins said.

The National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center estimates about an equal chance of Calhoun County having above or below normal rainfall amounts and temperatures through November, Goggins said.

For Jewell Craben, owner of the Tackle Box in Oxford, the heavy rains today had her remembering a similar rain in April that flooded her Main Street fishing supply store.

“I was worried,” Craben said of today's rains, but fortunately the rains stayed outside her shop doors.

Flooding can happen along Main Street during heavy and prolonged rains. A particularly heavy downpouring April 17 made the fourth time her shop has flooded since they opened the business in the 1960s, she said.

Craben said she’s glad the heavy rains of summer may be finished, but expressed trepidation about the coming months.

“I hope it doesn’t rain all winter,” she said.

Staff writer Eddie Burkhalter: 256-235-3563. On Twitter @Burkhalter_Star.

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