This past summer was cool and wet for Columbia and this was the topic of a previous post. It turns out that Columbia was not alone. In fact some areas had much more rain than Columbia. The mountains of South Carolina saw record rainfall for the summer with an average of over 40 inches. On August 6th over 5 inches of rain fell in the Upstate resulting in one drowning death in Pickens County.
|Summer rainfall averaged for the mountains of South Carolina (division 1) since 1895. 2013 was the wettest on record. Click on the image for a larger view. Image Credit: NOAA/NCDC.|
The wettest areas were in the Upstate, Pee Dee, north coastal, and central divisions of South Carolina. These divisions saw record summer rainfall while all other divisions were at least in the top 10 wettest.
|A ranking of summer rainfall for South Carolina since 1895. Click on the image for a larger view. Image Credit: NOAA/NCDC.|
|A ranking of summer rainfall for South Carolina since 1895 with other states in the U.S. Click on the image for a larger view. Image Credit: NOAA/NCDC.|
A persistent weather pattern was responsible for the abundant rainfall over South Carolina. While no individual month was the wettest on record (June = 3rd wettest, July = 2nd, and August = 31st) the combination produced the wettest summer since 1895 when records began.
The abundant rainfall helped keep temperatures down throughout the summer. It was hot and quite humid much of the time. However, an unseasonably cool air mass did push into South Carolina around the middle of August. This resulted in high temperatures that were 10 to 20 degrees below normal for this time of year. Thus, it turned out to be a cooler than normal summer, but not a record cool summer.
|A ranking of summer temperatures for South Carolina since 1895. Click on the image for a larger view. Image Credit: NOAA/NCDC.|
|A ranking of summer temperatures for South Carolina since 1895 with other states in the U.S. Click on the image for a larger view. Image Credit: NOAA/NCDC.|
A cool, wet summer brought relief from the hot, drought-plagued summers of the past few years. However, with it came its own set of problems. Many fields were flooded or too wet which delayed harvesting of row crops. The harvest was plagued by low yields and some crops showed signs of disease. South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley requested that the state be declared an agricultural disaster area. Agriculture is a significant part of the South Carolina economy.
Erosion was a problem in the hilly areas of the Piedmont and Upstate. Dirt and gravel roads suffered from deep ruts caused by the heavy downpours from the summer. Most rivers ran high and became dangerous for some boaters.
So far the record wet summer has been followed by a dry fall. Temperatures have been above normal and this has affected the fall color in the mountains. More on that in my next post.