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Not that you'd know it, but it actually rained in parts of the Chattanooga area earlier this week. Yes, it probably wasn't enough to do the parched yards and leaf-dropping trees much good, but it was really rain.

At the airport, where local rainfall is measured, only one-tenth of an inch has fallen in September. That puts rainfall more than 3 inches below normal for the month. Since August was nearly 2 inches drier than normal, that's a departure of some 5 inches in two months.

No wonder Tennessee Valley residents are putting their hands to their foreheads looking for fall.

And it's been hot, too, Through Wednesday, it's been 7 degrees warmer than normal for September, and it was two degrees warmer than normal in August.

For whatever reason, based on the United States Drought Monitor, Hamilton County is the driest county in the state. While much of the state is shown in a moderate drought, and significant portions are shown as abnormally dry, the top half of our county is shown in a severe drought.

The extreme drought also extends to the lower third of Meigs County, the top half of Bradley County, the extreme southern tip of Sequatchie County and the eastern and southern ends of Marion County.

The National Weather Service said the severe drought area includes the towns of South Pittsburg, Signal Mountain, Soddy-Daisy, Charleston, and Birchwood. Most of Chattanooga and Cleveland lie just south of the area.

Ironically, since rainfall in Chattanooga was so plentiful in the early months of the year, the city is still 7 inches above normal for the year.

The bad news is October is by far annually Chattanooga's driest month, and weather forecasters see normal to below normal rainfall for the month.

Meanwhile, most of Sumner County in upper central Tennessee and parts of Robertson County to its west and Macon and Trousdale counties to its east are enjoying no drought conditions whatsoever.

Who knew our suggested climate extremes could be so choosy?

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