The storms that swept through Chattanooga in the last couple of days put the city above its normal rainfall level for the year, but more is needed before the area can emerge from an ongoing severe drought, meteorologists said.
“Because of the last couple of rain events, we are about 5.58 inches this year, .17 inches above normal,” said David Glenn, WTVC NewsChannel 9 chief meteorologist. “We’re sort of easing our way out of the extreme part of the drought, but it’s still going to take a lot of rains like these ... before we are finally classified out of the drought because it was so severe.”
Chuck McSpadden of Apple Valley Orchard in Cleveland, Tenn., said he has noticed ponds growing with the rain, which helps water reserves for later in the year and in moisturizing the soil.
“We are feeling very fortunate right now,” Mr. McSpadden said.
Mr. Glenn said the latest drought statistics classify Chattanooga as “an area that will see more improvement” in conditions.
He said February, March and April usually are the wet months, with March being the wettest.
A line of violent storms that tore through the South late Tuesday and Wednesday killed more than 50 people, according to The Associated Press. One person was reported killed in Pisgah, Ala.
Tod Hyslop, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Morristown, Tenn., said the storm system caused penny-size hail in Cleveland and Bradley County and brought some trees down in Sequatchie County, Tenn.
The forecast for this week calls for temperatures to drop back to the mid 50s with another chance of light rain late Friday and Saturday.
BY THE NUMBERS
* Total area rainfall for the year so far is 5.58 inches, compared to 3.35 inches last year.
* 54.5 inches of rain is considered a normal year for the Chattanooga area.
* The rain that fell late Tuesday and early Wednesday is the most since Jan. 1.
* This week’s forecast calls for sunny and partly sunny days with a slight chance of rain Friday night and Saturday.
Sources: WTVC NewsChannel 9 chief meteorologist David Glenn and the National Weather Service in Morristown, Tenn
Perla Trevizo joined the Chattanooga Times Free Press in 2007 and covers immigration/diversity issues and higher education. She holds a master’s degree in newswire journalism from Universidad Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid, Spain, and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Texas. In 2011 she participated in the Bringing Home the World international reporting fellowship program sponsored by the International Center for Journalists, producing a series on Guatemalan immigrants for which she ...