Polk ends 2016 more than 20 inches below normal precipitation

Published 10:00 pm Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Some snow predicted for this weekend

TRYON-Despite recent rains, some heavy at the first of 2017, Polk County ended  2016 more than 20 inches below normal precipitation and remained in a severe drought as of the end of December.

So far in January, the area has received 1.68 inches of rain, according to the National Weather Service (NWS), which is more rain than the area received in the months of September and October 2016 combined.

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The NWS records Tryon’s weather, observed from the Tryon Water Plant, with the year 2016 ending with 41.45 inches of precipitation. The area’s normal, calculated from the years 1981-2010 by the NWS, is 61.77 inches of precipitation for the Tryon area, so 2016 was 20.32 inches below normal, according to NWS data.

The only years in the past decade Tryon has reached normal levels of rain were in 2009 when Tryon received 70.35 inches of rain, in 2013 when Tryon received 92.12 inches of rain and in 2015, when Tryon received 71.96 inches of rain, according to NWS data.

The months of January, March, April, June, July, September, October, November and December received below normal precipitation in 2016 with some of those months receiving well below normal rainfall.

The months of February, May and August were the only months of the year that received above normal precipitation. August saw the most rain with 8.72 inches of rain, according to the NWS, with May seeing the second largest amount with 6.34 inches of rain.

September saw the least amount of rain of the year at 0.13, following by October, which received 0.86 inches. Normally, August receives 6.18 inches of rain, May receives 4.57 inches of rain, September receives 5.38 inches of rain and October receives 4.65 inches of rain.

Polk County was in a severe drought all of December as well as most of October, according to the N.C. Drought Management Advisory Council. The month of November 2016, Polk County was listed in an extreme drought, which is the second highest classification for drought, just under exceptional drought. Some areas of the state were listed in an exceptional drought the last parts of 2016.

So far in January, Tryon has received a total of 1.68 inches of rain. Sunday, Jan. 1 received 0.03 inches of rain, Monday, Jan. 2 received 0.65 inches of rain and Tuesday, Jan. 3 received 1 inch of rain, according to the NWS.

The forecast for this weekend is calling for unknown amounts of snow late Friday, Jan. 6 and into Saturday, Jan. 7.

As of late Tuesday, meteorologists were predicting snow for the upstate and mountains and as far as the coasts of North and South Carolina and Atlanta, but were unsure how much the area would receive. Areas farther north, such as Virginia, are predicted to receive a heavy winter storm this weekend. Latest predictions are this area could receive 1-3 inches of snow with temperatures dropping significantly this week. The low temperature on Thursday is predicted to be 34 degrees, while Friday the low is predicted at 27 degrees, Saturday the low will reach 21 degrees, and Sunday the low is 19 degrees. Highs on Saturday and Sunday are expected to not get above 38 and 39 degrees, according to weather.com.

Precipitation totals over the past 10 years

NEWSp4 weather2016update

Monthly normal precipitation (1981-2010)

January 5.10

February 4.86

March 5.76

April 4.58

May 4.57

June 5.38

July 5.27

August 6.18

September 5.38

October 4.65

November 4.80

December 5.24

Total normal for a year: 61.77 inches