North Georgia is coming to the end of what has been one of the wettest years on record in most places.
Gainesville is ending the year with a rain surplus for the year of 26.64 inches. With no more rain expected the rest of the year, rainfall for the year at Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport in Gainesville through mid-morning Sunday totaled 76.17 inches. The city picked up another 1.06 inches of rain Saturday and early Sunday.
The wettest month was July when 11.80 inches fell; the driest was September when only 1.86 inches were recorded.
All this rain led to several instances of flooded and washed-out roads and - in the case of Flowery Branch on May 19 - flooded homes and businesses. (See "Year in Review" story for details.) But it was good for the level of Lake Lanier, which rose about 14 feet between Jan. 1 and Sunday.
In addition to being unusually wet, the summer proved unusually cool.
State climatologist Bill Murphey says the period June 1-Aug. 26 was the wettest on record for Gainesville, going back to 1898, with 28.45 inches of rain. It was the 8th-coolest, with an average of 73.8 degrees. The coolest on record for that period, again going back to 1898, was 71.3 degrees in 1967.
Data recorded at Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport show there were only five days during the past three months that the high temperature reached 90 or more - three of them in June and one each in August. The highest of the five was 92 on June 12. In addition, August brought with it two of the coldest highs on record in Gainesville for the month - 66 of the 16th and 65 on the 17th. The situation was the same elsewhere in north Georgia those two days.
At the Gainesville airport, temperatures were below normal on 17 of 30 days in June, 29 of 31 in July and 24 of 31 in August.
Rainfall in Gainesville totaled 27.98 inches for the three months ending August 31.
The National Weather Service (NWS) said Sunday that this was the 5th-wettest year on record in Atlanta where 66.02 inches were recorded. In Athens, it was the 15th-wettest - 59.89 inches. But the unusually wet weather was no limited to North Georgia. NWS says Macon set a record for yearly rainfall - 72.91 inches and it was the 6th-wettest on record in Columbus - 66.65 inches.
But the rest of the year looks dry, at least in North Georgia, and with seasonal temperatures.