National Weather Service: Charleston area breaks all-time record for rainfall in a summer

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — It’s been a rainy summer and according to the National Weather Service in Charleston, it’s been the wettest summer on record in the capital city area.

The agency confirmed this week that 23.23 inches of rain have fallen in Charleston since June 1, the most ever in a summer period. The record was previously set in 1958 with 23.13 inches. NWS Charleston counts summer totals from June 1 to August 31, so the total could climb with one week left.

Megan Kiebler, a NWS Charleston Meteorologist told MetroNews that July in Charleston saw 9.95 inches of rain, along with 5.2 inches in June and 8.09 inches of rain in August as of Tuesday morning. She noted the rainfall amounts measured for Charleston take place at West Virginia International Yeager Airport.

“Most afternoons in July we saw a decent amount of showers and thunderstorms make it through the Charleston area. When they did, they provided decent heavy downpours with it,” Kiebler said.

Kiebler said there were multiple days in July where afternoon showers brought between a half inch and an inch of rain.

Flash flooding has occurred in multiple portions of the county this summer. Kiebler said the continuous rain has led to saturated grounds that can’t hold the water as well. Other events, such as the mid August flooding in the eastern portion of Kanawha County saw a front park itself over areas. Campbells Creek and Hughes Creek areas received three inches of rain overnight on August 15.

“Typically we see high pressure build off the Carolina coast. That keeps us in a more subdue weather pattern. With the lack of high pressure sitting there it allowed the cold fronts to come through and maintain those downpours,” Kiebler said.

Kiebler noted that while they have confirmed Charleston broke its rainfall record for the summer, she imagined nearby areas did as well. NWS Charleston uses Charleston as a center point for the central portion of the state.

For the fall months, she said the seasonal climate predictor forecasts a below-average rain.

“At the moment, they are predicting more of an average to below average for precipitation going into September, October and November,” Kiebler said.

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