New Rainfall Stats for Atlanta

The Ongoing Drought For North Georgia Got A Little Better
This Month, But Not Because Of Any Rainfall. No The Drought Improved
For Atlanta Because The “average” Rainfall Numbers For The City Changed.

We work on 30 year averages, as of this month the range moved from 1971-2000 to 1981-2010. With a new set of numbers, the yearly average rainfall for Atlanta dropped from 50.17″ to 49.68″

More surprising to me is the shift in the monthly averages. For my career in Atlanta (23 years) I have always known that October is our driest month. Well that is not the case anymore, there is a new title holder and its April. In fact October is close to falling into third place behind May.

Month Rainfall” Month Rainfall”
April 3.36 November 4.10
October 3.41 January 4.20
May 3.66 September 4.47
August 3.90 February 4.67
December 3.95 March 4.80
June 3.95 July 5.26

Why the change?, I think several factors. First off please remember we are talking about one observation place (Hartsfield/Jackson Inter. Airport) and not a blend of the metro Atlanta. Some spots may have recorded more rain, some less, but over a 30 year period I do think the coverage tends to average itself.

Secondly, I think the drier months shifted from the Fall to the Spring thanks to very active tropical seasons in the last 3 decades. There tends to be wider coverage of heavy rain with tropical systems than the random nature of spring time t-storms.

Our recent drought monitor map has not changed in the last week. Where it’s dry, it’s dry and the northern counties continue to experience no drought at all. I expect that to change very little in the coming weeks and of course the biggest concern is what will happen during the water recharge period in the winter.

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