2009 brings area most rain in six years

Published 3:50 pm Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Wet weather returned to the Thermal Belt in 2009, breaking a 5-year period of dry weather that at times put Polk County at the worst level of drought.
According to observations in Tryon for the National Weather Service, the area finished 2009 with nearly 77 inches of precipi
The 2009 precipitation total exceeded the 2008 total by nearly 30 inches and was the most in the area since 83 inches of precipitation in 2003.
Like last year, 2003 also fol
Following a wet 2003, precipitation stayed close to the annual historical average of 65 inches for the next two years before weather
The driest year of the past decade came in 2007 with just 42.56 inches. During the most
The dry weather persisted through much of 2008, and finally began to ease this past spring. After a dry June and July, the area saw more relief with above average precipitation from August through December.
Area water suppliers were able to remove water use restrictions this past year, and ground and surface water supplies began returning to normal.
According to the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center, above average precipitation is expected to continue in the region through at least March.tation. December was the wettest month of the year with 12.87 inches, including three inches of snowfall from a Dec. 19 storm. Many areas in Polk County received much more snow from the storm.lowed an extended period of dry weather. Ground and surface water levels were severely depleted while the area had below average precipitation totals from 1999 to 2002. The worst year was in 2000 with just 44.32 inches.turned dry again. recent drought, Polk County spent several months at either the extreme or exceptional levels of drought, the two highest levels in the federal drought scale.

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