This year might have been unusually dry for the Chattanooga area, but meteorologists say the start of 2017 will bring some steady, continued rainfall.
After a months-long drought, the last several weeks have been markedly better with several weather systems dousing the region with some much-needed rain.
At 35.35 inches of rainfall this year and another quarter-inch possible before midnight tonight, 2016 will no longer be the driest year on record, having surpassed the record low 32.68 inches in 1904.
Forecasters are expecting the first week of the new year to see continued rainfall now that the uncomfortably long dry spell has ended. Paul Barys, chief meteorologist for WRCB-TV Channel 3, said one model suggests another inch will fall over the next seven days.
"It's not a lot, but it's something. If we get an inch a week, that's really good," he said. "An inch a week at this time of year is a very good thing. An inch per week is exactly what the doctor ordered."
He said there's a chance for rain throughout the weekend, but the greatest chance for rain this coming week is Monday. After that, Tuesday and Wednesday should be fairly dry, but another system likely will move in Thursday.
Accompanying those showers will be consistent cloud cover and temperatures that could climb into the mid-60s.
Sam Roberts, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Morristown, Tenn., said the rain is still needed, but recent patterns suggest some recovery from the damage sustained in this year's drought.
"We've been getting some pretty steady bouts of rain it seems like every four or five days," he said. "We'll definitely keep taking all we can get."