Rare wet August

Published 8:52 pm Tuesday, September 4, 2012

August seemed like a pretty wet month in Suffolk, by all accounts. Every other afternoon, seemingly, storm clouds would build then burst, filling ditches and often flooding streets.

The wet conditions came to a head on Aug. 28, when torrential rain overnight caused issues at upward of two dozen locations.

But the storms were often isolated to very specific parts of the city, said Dan Proch, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service’s forecast office in Wakefield.

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The service tallies rainfall totals for Suffolk via a Remote Automated Weather Station near Lake Kilby.

The unmanned station uploads measurements to a government computer network.

August’s rainfall total was 10.62 inches, Proch said, which is almost double the monthly average through 1945.

It was only the fifth time since 1945 that rainfall at that location has exceeded 10 inches, he said.

Last year was actually wetter than this year, with 13.13 inches falling near Lake Kilby in August 2011.

Before that, 10.37 inches fell at the location in August 2003, and a very wet 19.22 inches was recorded for the month in 1991.

“You then have to go back almost 30 years to 1963, when it was 11.60 inches,” Proch said.

“That’s just this particular site. With these types of thunderstorms and the atmosphere we have had over the past couple of weeks, it could be a higher amount a couple of miles away.”

That uneven distribution came into play during the Aug. 28 deluge, when city rain gauges measured from 3.07 inches just south of East Washington Street to 5.72 inches in the King’s Fork area.

Cedar Point Country Club in the Bennett’s Creek area had reportedly received more than 14 inches from Aug. 24-28.