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"But we NEED the rain!"

While it may be true that nobody likes a rainy day, it's just what the doctor ordered around here! The scattered showers and storms we'll have in and around Wilmington this Thursday have been a long time coming for many of us.

So far this year we've only picked up over 27" of rain - about 9 1/2 full inches short of our normals. In other words, we're looking at 75% of the water that we should have by this time of year.

The month of August has been even worse. We've only picked up a flat out measley 0.34" of rain - already 3.9" short for the month. Typically, August is one of the wettest months of the year averaging over 7" in the rainfall department.

That can be skewed slightly as many years we typically have a tropical system come onshore dropping several inches at a time. But that just emphasizes the "hit and miss" nature of summertime rainfalls.

We had a perfect example last night of how using a single site to measure rainfall across an area just doesn't work in the summertime. A strong line of thunderstorms passed to the north of Wilmington bringing heavy rains to Robeson, Bladen, Sampson, and Duplin counties. The same cells passed over the same locations for a period of hours -- something we call "training". The totals were impressive.

Our StormTrack 3 radar estimates from last evening show about 4.50" of rainfall near Wallace, and as much as 5.00" of rain near Tar Heel in Bladen County. That's a lot of rain for a few hours!

But look to the south -- Elizabethtown lies just 15 miles south of the big 5" rain in Tar Heel and picked up just under 1" themselves. Burgaw was very close to the storms themselves, but saw hardly any rain. And Wilmington came out without any drops in the bucket yet again -- extending our dry spell to 8 days in a row.

So where you live this summer really determines whether your grass is green or brown. We'll see if we can't do a little rain dance to entice some storms to make their way down to the Wilmington beaches this afternoon and evening. (It really is lovely this time of year!)

That's all for now. Thanks for reading.


By: Tim Buckley


It makes you wonder what the rainfall amounts have been at the Myrtle Beach airport.