Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Weather columnist Kevin Myatt: Dry summer washes away in wet September
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After a dry summer that put much of Southwest Virginia into moderate drought, September has a good chance to become one of the 10 wettest on record with rain the next three days.
A new cold front that will stubbornly push through an abundantly moist atmosphere today through Friday will be the focus for repeated rounds of rain showers.
This will not be the same level of rain as the 3 to 7 inches that Tropical Storm Lee dumped on us Labor Day, but totals of an inch or more may occur across much of the region.
If that occurs, September total rainfall at Blacksburg and Roanoke will be close to being among the 10 wettest Septembers on record, going back a century at Roanoke and nearly 60 years at Blacksburg.
Before Tuesday's showers, both official sites were a little more than an inch away from the 10th-place spot — 7.38 inches in 1999 for Roanoke and 5.28 inches in 1996 for Blacksburg — on the list of wet Septembers.
The bulk of the rain this month, of course, occurred from the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee on Sept. 5 and 6.
The wettest Septembers on record are 12.06 inches for Roanoke in 1945 and 10.29 inches for Blacksburg in 1957.
Challenging those numbers would probably require another direct effect from a tropical system in the remaining 10 days of the month. That appears unlikely, but there is still time, so we'll keep an eye on the Atlantic.
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