Heavy summer rain: It's a good thing - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Heavy summer rain: It's a good thing

Posted: Updated:

We usually count on our fall and winter rains to replenish lake levels and erase summer drought. Currently, though, our lakes are over full levels and there isn't a drought anywhere in the state.

So what could that mean for the next few months FOX 5 Storm Team meteorologist Joanne Feldman spoke with a scientist at Georgia Tech to get some answers.

The weather pendulum has swung from a historic drought to unimaginable floods and back.  Now, Georgia is coming off of one of the wettest summers in recent memory.  

"Climatologically, it's unusual in that we had so many days with rain and we had a lot of rain totaling up," said James St. John, a Georgia Tech research scientist.

St. John says while the drought has been erased and lake levels look good, September's break in the excessive summer rains came at a very good time.  

"We've had the opportunity for the soil to dry out a little bit," he said.  "So when we get a rain like we did over the last weekend, the ground can absorb some of that."

Instead of immediately running off and causing flooding, the rain has somewhere to go.  But the soil's capacity to hold more moisture is affected by more than just how much rain we've seen lately.  

"Even if you don't get a lot of rain, if it's cloudy and cool, the water is not going to evaporate as much," explained St. John.

St. John also said if there are leaves on the trees, they can keep 30 percent of the rain from hitting the ground.  That means once the leaves have fallen, a heavy rain event can become a flooding rain event instead.

Something else to consider: We're right in the middle of Atlantic hurricane season.

"I think we'd be in trouble right now if, for example, a tropical storm came through Georgia and dumped a lot more rain on us," St. John said, adding that the ground would be saturated, the lakes are full and there's nowhere else for the water to go.  

His best-case scenario for the next few months?  St. John says it would be nice if we got average precipitation through the fall, but no matter what the weather pattern, it will affect some people well and others not so well.  

The bottom line: Georgia seems to be more at risk of slipping into flood conditions rather than drought during this fall season.

  • Good Day ArchiveMore>>

  • Back to School Jamboree with Hosea Feed The Hungry

    Back to School Jamboree with Hosea Feed The Hungry

    Hosea Feed the Hungry will host their annual Back to School Jamboree on Sunday, July 13, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at Turner Field. Children will receive a backpack filled with school supplies.

    Hosea Feed the Hungry will host their annual Back to School Jamboree on Sunday, July 13, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at Turner Field. Children will receive a backpack filled with school supplies.

  • Sandy Springs Park presents "Touching" art display

    Sandy Springs Park presents "Touching" art display

    Monday, July 28 2014 8:57 AM EDT2014-07-28 12:57:44 GMT
    For many area students and teachers, school starts next week.  So this week on Good Day Atlanta, we're checking out "cool" spots to
    For many area students and teachers, school starts next week. So this week on Good Day Atlanta, we're checking out "cool" spots to enjoy those last few days of summer.
  • Pet 'matchmaking' service increases adoptions

    Pet 'matchmaking' service increases adoptions

    Monday, July 28 2014 8:13 AM EDT2014-07-28 12:13:37 GMT
    You've probably heard of a match-making service that helps people find their soul mates.But you may not know that there's a nonprofit in Atlanta that offers a similar service....for people to find....the perfect pet.
    You've probably heard of a match-making service that helps people find their soul mates.But you may not know that there's a nonprofit in Atlanta that offers a similar service....for people to find....the perfect pet.
Powered by WorldNow

WHBQ-TV | Fox 13
485 S. Highland St.
Memphis, TN 38111

Main Station: (901) 320-1313
Newsroom: (901) 320-1340

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices