published Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

City gets above-normal rainfall for month, year

by Kelli Gauthier
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A week of on-and-off strong thunderstorms won’t have much impact on the rest of this year’s weather — in fact, it’s pretty normal, officials say.

“We have ebbs and flows of heat and low-pressure systems coming through,” said Derek Eisentrout, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Morristown, Tenn. “Looking at some long-range climate forecasting, it doesn’t really show strong tendencies.”

Average rainfall for Chattanooga this month and year are slightly above average, Eisentrout said. Through Monday, the area has received 3.84 inches of precipitation in June, compared to an average of 3.56 inches. Since Jan. 1, the Chattanooga region has received 32.58 inches of rain, while the average is 28.51 inches, he said.

Meteorologists with the National Weather Service use average temperatures and rainfall from 1970 to 2000 to determine normal levels. But summer temperatures and precipitation tend to be all over the place, Eisentrout said, so it’s rare for the area to see a “normal” day.

“What really happens is that you have days in the 90s and days in the 70s, and then days with no rain and days with an inch of rain,” he said. “So, is this typical? Yes.”

Channel 3 Chief Meteorologist Paul Barys said most of the recent storms are now to the south and west of the Chattanooga region and should be completely cleared away by this morning. Once the scattered clouds start to clear, the temperatures should continue to rise into the weekend, he said.

“We should get into hot air and very humid, too,” he said.

Barys predicted temperatures will be in the upper 90s by Friday and through the weekend.

The next chance for rain and any cooling is Tuesday, he added.

East Ridge resident Kathy Burke said she doesn’t mind the rain one bit. She boards her horses at a farm nearby and too much rain is always better than too little.

“The drought that we had gone through hadn’t been good for grass and the pastures, and it’s not conducive to the horses’ health, so I’m not going to complain about the rain,” she said.

about Kelli Gauthier...

Kelli Gauthier covers K-12 education in Hamilton County for the Times Free Press. She started at the paper as an intern in 2006, crisscrossing the region writing feature stories from Pikeville, Tenn., to Lafayette, Ga. She also covered crime and courts before taking over the education beat in 2007. A native of Frederick, Md., Kelli came south to attend Southern Adventist University in Collegedale, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in print journalism. Before newspapers, ...

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