Region Saw 17 Inches More Rain Than Normal In 2013; Average Winter Predicted In Early 2014
BY O.J. EARLY
What were a couple of good items to own in 2013? A raincoat and an umbrella.
This year's weather, marked by wet days and mild temperatures, almost set a record for rain totals in a single year.
The 57.68 inches of precipitation recorded in Upper East Tennessee as of this morning is nearly 17 inches more than the yearly average of 41 inches.
Greene County has seen that much rain only one other time since 1937, data from the National Weather Service (NWS) show. That was in 2003, when the county was pounded with 65 inches of rain.
"We had a very wet first half of the year," said Derek Eisentrout, a meteorologist with NWS in Morristown.
Accuweather, a weather-forecasting firm, forecasts above-normal temperatures and below-normal precipitation for the rest of the winter for the region.
The year wasn't without major weather systems in the county, especially early in 2013.
"We had numerous flooding events this year," Eisentrout said. "It seemed like every few weeks we would get into a situation with local flooding."
A storm system dumped more than five inches of rain on the county in a two-day span in mid-January, temporarily closing more than 50 roads.
Rising creeks and streams hammered the northern and western sections of the county, and roads countywide took a beating from an unusually heavy amount of rain, County Road Superintendent David Weems has said.
A water-line break on Kiser Boulevard and the collapse of a portion of Green Mountain Road were attributed to large amounts of precipitation, Weems reported.
COOLER AS WELL
And it wasn't quite as warm as usual this year.
Cooler-than-normal temperatures permeated the county for much of 2013, Eisentrout said.
Temperatures in July, normally the county's hottest month, averaged two degrees lower than usual.
The normal July high is 85.8, and this year the area average was 83.8, according to NWS.
"When you have a lot more cloud cover and rain, that's going to knock your temperatures down," Eisentrout said.
REMAINDER OF WINTER
What should you expect for the rest of winter, heading into 2014?
Accuweather predicts higher-than-average temperatures for the first half of winter in East Tennessee, with below-average snow totals.
After examining forecasting data at his Morristown office, Eisentrout said Greene County will likely see an average winter.
"There is nothing that indicates that we will be above or below average," he said.
Greene County's average temperature is 41 in January and 47 in February, NWS data show.