Record-breaking rainfall in north Georgia for 2020

May 21, 2020 ( FOX 5 )

The never-ending rain continues in north Georgia and if you're feeling watered down, you are not alone. Atlanta has already received over 60% of its yearly precipitation total through the month of April and it's possible May will end with above-average precipitation as well.

So, how unusual is it to have this much precipitation by April? 2020 has the 4th highest precipitation total on record, weather records for Atlanta date back to 1879, through the month of April. The top five go as followed 1881 with 34.32", 1936 with 33.32", 1929 with 32.87", 2020 with 31.4" and 1883 with 30.97".

May 21, 2020 (FOX 5)

What's shocking about the top 5 wettest starts to the year is that, so far, only 1929 made it in the top five wettest years (1948 with 71.45" 2018 with 70.03", 2009 with 69.43", 2015 with 68.38" and 1929 with 67.71"). Looking at the big picture, that lines up with the fact that July averages the most precipitation each year.

May 21, 2020 (FOX 5)

So far, every month in 2020 has ended with above-average precipitation. It's not uncommon to have four-plus months in a row with above-average precipitation in Atlanta, but if this pattern continues into the summer months, it will join a select few. Keep in mind the wettest years on record with this next statistic. 1975 and 1922 are the only years on record to have seven consecutive months with above-average monthly precipitation. Six consecutive months have happened five times: 1912, 1928, 1958, 1991, and 2015. Out of those years, only 2015 made into the top 5 wettest years. Based on that, we can conclude that the years where we have an excessive amount of precipitation in one or two months of the year have a greater impact on our yearly precipitation totals than a persistent unsettled weather pattern. 1948 is the only year on record to have three months with more than 10 inches of precipitation.

To put this year in perspective, you probably remember that in 2019 Atlanta started unsettled as well, but it was small amounts over several days. Between Saturday January 13th and Sunday March 18th we only had ONE weekend without measurable rain. In addition to that, Atlanta also had measurable rain every weekend during the month of February. Interestingly enough, we only had 9.51" of rain during this stretch vs. more than double that amount, 19.64", in 2020.

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In 2018, it was also a rainy year with the second-highest yearly precipitation total on record 70.03". Over this year, Atlanta had nine months with above-average precipitation, tied for the most on record, but what brought this year so high in the record books with the nearly 12" of precipitation in the month of December.

Looking ahead, Atlanta has a chance for rain every day for the next week building the confidence that the monthly above-average precipitation streak will continue.

Monthly precipitation averages by month in Atlanta:

• January: 4.20"

• February: 4.67"

• March: 4.81"

• April: 3.36"

• May: 3.67"

• June: 3.95"

• July: 5.27"

• August: 3.90"

• September: 4.47"

• October: 3.41"

• November: 4.10"

• December: 3.90"

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