Wettest May on record in Montgomery busts the drought
According to the US Third National Climate Assessment, the number and intensity of very heavy precipitation events (defined as the heaviest 1 percent of all daily events) have been increasing significantly across most of the United States. From 1958 to 2012, the number and intensity of heavy events increased by 27 percent in the Southeast.
Last Saturday’s torrential rains have led to the wettest May in Montgomery on record, a big reason why the drought is over in the region.
Through Wednesday, Montgomery has officially recorded 12.28 inches of rainfall, said Jason Holmes, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Birmingham. That breaks the record of most rainfall in May which was 12.01 inches set in 1978, he said. Weather service records go back to 1872.
“And there are still seven days in May,” Holmes said Thursday morning. “So we could very well add to the total for the month.”
The rainfall Saturday, coming in at 8.15 inches, set a record for the date, weather service data shows.
The weekly drought monitor, released Thursday morning, shows a big dent in the lingering drought that has been plaguing the state. The drought monitor uses data from several sources to gauge the effects of the dearth of rainfall.
The current tally shows that 78 percent of the state is out of drought, compared to 41 percent just last week. This week 1.78 percent of the state is in a “moderate” drought, compared to 29 percent last week. That’s the second most severe category of drought on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being the most severe.