2018 ends up right as rain

By Brian Knox | Published Saturday, January 5, 2019

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Ending the Year Strong

ENDING THE YEAR STRONG – A wet latter-half of 2018 ended up making 2018 an average year in terms of rainfall in Wise County. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

It was the driest of times, it was the wettest of times.

But in the end, it was average.

It was 2018 Wise County weather.

In the final month of the year, we received 3.29 inches of rain, according to official weather watcher Doyle Green in Decatur. That brought the yearly total to 38.82 inches of rainfall. The average yearly rainfall amount since records began in 1974 is 38.85 inches.

While the total was average, the year was not. In fact, it was more like two different years in one.

During the first six months of the year, Wise County saw monthly totals below average in five. That included the record for the lowest rainfall amount in the month of June when we received only 0.31 of an inch of rain for the month. The previous low for the month was 0.45 in 1977.

Through the first six months of the year, Wise County had received only 11.81 inches of rain, which put the year in danger of becoming one of the driest on record. Drought conditions plagued the county as little rainfall and hot summer temperatures resulted in dangerous wildfire conditions and a burn ban.

But the story was different in the latter half of the year. From July through December, Wise County received just more than 27 inches of rain. Monthly rainfall totals were above normal four out of the six months, including 10.15 inches of rain in September.

Drought conditions went from severe to non-existent.

The rainy conditions have continued into the first few days of 2019. Between Wednesday and Thursday, Decatur received a half-inch of rain, according to Don Niblett of Decatur. While forecasters had called for possible freezing rain or snow this past week, temperatures stayed at or above freezing, keeping roadways clear of ice.

The forecast doesn’t include rain over the next several days until a slight chance of rain enters the forecast Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.

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