Georgia's 2009 weather will be remembered as a year the state took a sharp turn from drought...to soggy.
The spikes in rainfall are staggering no matter what region of the state you look at. Columbus had 16 more inches in 2009 compared to ’08. The Athens-area saw a jump of 15 inches in rainfall totals. And the Atlanta-region had more than 60 inches of rain this year -- that’s a jump of nearly 20 from the year before.
State climatologist David Stooksbury says the first couple of months of ’09 in Georgia began dry...but then came March:
"And March turned out to be extremely wet across the entire state. And for much of the state that tendency towards wetter-than-normal weather continued through the year...there was a major exception and that was NE Ga".
But Stooksbury says northeast Georgia quickly caught-up once the heavy rains rolled through the state in the fall – punctuated by record flooding in September for several regions.
For sure Stooksbury says, drought conditions that gripped Georgia to start 2009 are a distant memory as the calendar turns:
"The difference between now and past years of course is the fact that the reservoirs are full, the streams are full, and the soil moisture is in good shape. So we're in good shape compared to the last several springs and summers when we were already behind the 8-ball".
Stooksbury predicts the first three months of the New Year should continue wetter than normal, with cooler than average temperatures.