June 2013: 4.47 inches
Record June: 9.40 inches
July 4, 2013: 0.98 inches
Record July 4: 2.99 inches
Source: National Weather Service
The rain clouds that ruined Independence Day firework shows and shut down poolside barbecue plans won't be clearing up in time for the weekend.
Expect more damp, downcast days with scattered periods of heavy rain, said Jerry Heverdeys, a National Weather Service forecaster in Morristown, Tenn. Clear skies won't show up until Monday, just when the city returns to work. Later in the week, afternoon thunderstorms are likely just about every day.
"There is a lot of rain still coming," Heverdeys said.
While the wet days have felt endless and especially paralyzing, because many had expectations for the holiday break and family traveling, the weather hasn't broken any records, he said.
On July 4, rainfall was 0.98 inches; the record is 2.99 inches in 1941.
The record for June was 9.40 inches in 1949, while this June had 4.47 inches of rain.
Still, rainfall for the year is far above normal, said Paul Barys, meteorologist for WRCB Channel 3. As of Friday morning, the area was 13.1 inches ahead of the 30-year average, he said.
There is so much water in the ground, plumes of moisture are rising into the atmosphere and generating thunderstorms, he said. It's a flip from last year, he said, when the dry days were reaching higher than 90 degrees.
"This is not a typical summer pattern, especially for down here," Barys said. "The Southeast has been unusually wet. That is why everything is so green. If you really listen closely you can hear the grass growing. I can't remember having to cut my lawn so much."
Chattanooga, Soddy-Daisy, Collegedale and Georgia's Fort Oglethorpe and Lake Winnepesaukah amusement park all canceled their fireworks shows. Soddy-Daisy moved its fireworks to Oct. 5 to coincide with the Pumpkin Festival, while Lake Winnie in Rossville still plans to light up the sky on both Saturday and Sunday at 10 p.m.
Still, the disappointed quickly found their ways to local fireworks stores, where they tried to build their own shows with reloadables and 50 Grams, local firework sellers say.
David Dumm, a manager at Fireworks Supermarket in Cleveland, Tenn., said fireworks don't perform well in rain, obviously, but many will wait for a short break in the weather, then light the match.
In downtown Chattanooga, baseball's Lookouts lit their fireworks on July Fourth in the midst of rainfall and the lights cut the black sky beautifully. The bur sts were just as bold, the colors as bright.
Last year, the drought made everyone worried that a stray spark would set fires. Not this year.
"They were really excited not to have to worry about that," Dumm said.
On Friday the store was extremely busy as people bought fireworks despite the soggy weekend predicted, he said.
Contact staff writer Joan McClane at email@example.com or 423-757-6601. Follow her on Twitter at @JoanGarrettCTFP.