Hot and wet weather? Savannah sees most rainfall in decades in August

 Saturday, September 3, 2022 


Hurricane season is off to a quiet start in Savannah, but thunderstorm season is in full effect.

Savannah saw the most August rainfall since 1995, according to National Weather Service data.

The 8.31 inches of precipitation far surpassed the norm of 5.46 inches. Additionally, some parts of Savannah saw significantly more rain than others — the 8.31 inches was measured at the Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport.

Hunter Army Airfield’s gauge measured 14 inches of rain. The forecast for Labor Day weekend is for several inches more rain.

The August rainfall was the most since September 2021, when Savannah recorded 9 inches of rain, including 6.66 inches in one day.

The last wetter August came in 1995, when the local area was swamped by 17 inches in rain, including 12 inches in a four-day period and 5.75 inches in a single day.

What about hurricanes?

The recent wet weather serves as a constant reminder that the Southeast is in the early stages of the 2022 hurricane season. Yet for the first time in a quarter century, August passed without a named storm in the Atlantic.

On Thursday, however, a tropical depression strengthened and became Tropical Storm Danielle. The system is not expected to threaten the United States and is tracking north in the mid-Atlantic.

Local hurricane expert Chuck Watson, a hazards researcher who publishes a go-to blog at a website, credits a pool of persistent dry air over the mid-Atlantic for the limited activity so far this year.

He cautions that drier air can mean stronger storms, pointing to 1992’s Hurricane Andrew, the rare Category 5 hurricane to hit the U.S.

Watson’s insights are echoed by his peers. The nation’s foremost Atlantic hurricane forecaster, Colorado State University Meteorologist Phil Klotzbach, cautions that the remarkably quiet Atlantic tropical cyclone period is likely to end soon.

The Atlantic hurricane forecast continues to call for above normal activity, with 14 to 20 named storms projected.

The leader of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Deanne Criswell, has encouraged those living in coastal areas to not “let our guard down.”

This is especially important as we enter peak hurricane season — the next Ida or Sandy could still be lying in wait, Chiswell said.

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