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Rainfall was in short supply, again

By Brian Knox | Published Wednesday, January 1, 2014

For the third straight year, rainfall was below normal for Wise County.

According to records kept by weather watcher Doyle Green of Decatur, our area received 31.67 inches of rain for 2013. While that is slightly higher than the 28.86 inches we received last year, it is still well below the yearly average of 37.37 inches.

The wettest month was May with 4.32 inches. But even that was more than an inch below the average May rainfall of 5.48 inches. May 15 was the wettest day of the year with 2.69 inches of rainfall recorded during a damaging thunderstorm that also brought a tornado, heavy winds and hail.

Wise County did receive measurable rainfall each month in 2013. The lowest amount – 0.23 of an inch – was recorded in August.

The area received below-average rainfall amounts for the months of February, March, April, May, June, August, September, October and November. The longest stretch of the year without any measurable precipitation occurred between June 21 and July 14.

The coldest temperature recorded over the past year was 12 degrees on Dec. 11. The highest, 105, was recorded on Sept. 1. The 12-degree low during the ice storm was the lowest temperature recorded since the temperature dipped to 9 degrees on Feb. 10, 2011.

The temperature dropped below freezing 70 days during the year. December was the coldest month with freezes recorded on 23 days (with another freeze expected to be recorded Dec. 31, after this paper has gone to press). The average low temperature for the month was 26.3 degrees.

The last freeze in the spring was April 25, while the first freeze of the fall was on Nov. 13. There were three days when the temperature never climbed above freezing – Nov. 24 and Dec. 6-7.

Our high temperature reached 100 or above 14 days this past year. The first 100-degree day was recorded June 28, and the last was Sept. 1. The warmest month was August with an average high temperature of 96.7 degrees. Nine of the 14 100-degree days were recorded that month.

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