0

Rainfall continues in metro Atlanta, Southern Crescent

By Johnny Jackson

jjackson@henryherald.com

Rain is expected to continue to fall this week in the Southern Crescent, and throughout North Georgia.

The wet weather brought 2.76 inches of rainfall to metro Atlanta over the week-long period heading into Memorial Day, according to Robert Garcia, meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

The National Weather Service reported the average rainfall for May is 3.95 inches. However, the week's worth of rainfall through Monday, propelled the May 2010 total to 6.87 inches, making it the wettest May in metro Atlanta since a record 9.94 inches fell in 2003.

"Atlanta has received 179 percent of normal rainfall over the past 30 days, and 105 percent of normal over the past 90 days," said State Climatologist David Emory Stooksbury. "As we enter the summer -- climatologists and meteorologists begin summer on June 1 -- moisture conditions in the south metro are in very good shape."

Clayton County Water Authority Water Production Manager Guy Pihera said the authority's 4.2 billion gallon-capacity reservoirs are all filled, with some already spilling over.

"We've been a little wetter than normal in May, but it's summer time in Georgia," said Garcia, adding that wet weather will be possible through the weekend.

Garcia noted that the chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms will be diminished from earlier this week, and may decrease as the week progresses to between 20-40 percent daily. He said the heat of the day will help fuel afternoon pop-up showers, as daily high temperatures are expected to hover around the mid-to-upper 80s.

Garcia said the month of May also may have been a preface to a more active summer and fall. "The Climate Prediction Center is expecting neutral conditions this summer," he explained. He said the region is moving away from the El Nino weather pattern, experienced this past winter, and is expected to move toward a La Nina weather pattern, anticipated for later this fall.

"Those conditions," he added, "will be more favorable for tropical-storm activity. The National Hurricane Center predicts 14-23 named storms this year in places like the Atlantic, the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico."

Garcia urged residents to be prepared for stormy weather, and take proper precautions by documenting damage caused by storms.

"We also encourage people with damage reports to call them in and tell us, because that helps us document the cases," Garcia said. "It helps us know how much damage is done and what kind of storm activity has been taking place."