2013 will go down as one of the rainiest years in Georgia history, and the rainiest on record in Macon. With still a few days to go, more than 70 inches of rain have fallen on the "heart of Georgia" in 2013, drowning Macon's previous record of just under 68 inches set in 1929.
The drier conditions lately have been a welcome change for people across the state, especially those whose business depends on the weather. A small group of workers shoveled dirt recently on either side of a newly-poured sidewalk inside a new subdivision in Roswell, just north of Atlanta. It was a rare event; for most of the year they’ve been shoveling mud.
The wet, humid weather is behind an explosion in the aphid population in northwest Georgia. Extension service official Keith Mickler says large numbers of small, white bugs seem to be floating around in the air. The insects are Asian wooly hackberry aphids.
Georgia has seen unusually high rainfall totals this year and that could lead to unusually high food prices later this fall. According to University of Georgia Agricultural Climatologist Pam Knox, many farmers are behind schedule because of the wet conditions.
Weeks of heavy rain that have drenched much of the Southeast have been a blessing at a wildlife refuge that straddles the Georgia-Florida state line. Officials at the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge say it's enjoying a swamp water level about a foot higher than average and low fire anxiety.
A flash flood watch remains in effect through Friday evening for parts of north Georgia and west central Georgia. Forecaster said before dawn Friday that additional rainfall of 1 to 2 inches appears likely through this evening, with locally higher amounts possible. Forecasters have extended a flood warning for metro Atlanta through Saturday morning as rain continues to elevate river and stream levels.