WRAL WeatherCenter Blog

Record Rains - Twice!

Posted December 26, 2006

After a very wet November and some modest rainfall in the first three days of December, a much drier pattern set in for a couple of weeks through the middle of the month, during which we went 18 consecutive days without measurable rain at the Raleigh-Durham airport, although there were two occasions in that stretch on which a trace of rain was recorded.

We brought that little run of dry weather to a screeching halt in the past several days, with the passage of two vigorous storm systems, the first of which produced a record .94 inches at the airport on Friday the 22nd (breaking an old mark of .80 from 1967), and we followed that with an even more impressive system on Christmas Day that led to another new record total of 1.51 inches, exceeding the previous Christmas record of .91 inches from back in 1962.

While these are impressive totals, it's always worth bearing in mind that the period of record at RDU, while reasonably lengthy now at 58 years, is relatively short on the scale of long-term weather variability, so that new record values are a little easier to come by than at a station with accurate readings stretching back into, for example, the mid or late 1800s.

These latest rains leave us with 3.0 inches for the month at RDU, a little above normal, and it appears we'll add at least some more to the total this weekend, with a chance at some rain Friday night, Saturday, and possibly on Sunday as we close out the month. So far for calendar year 2006, we're running about 11.3 inches above normal.

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