The average monthly temperature in Gainesville for July was 74.7 degrees, the lowest since 1979 when the average was 73.3 degrees, according to data from the National Weather Service.
The temperature has only gone above 90 degrees three times this summer.
“We’re in a pattern that is not quite normal for July,” said weather service forecaster Verona Murrell. “We’re in a northwest flow aloft and we have been most of the month.
“That’s bringing several storm systems from the northern part of the country to the Southeast.”
The rain and clouds are most likely the cause of the cool temperatures this month, she said.
July saw 14.21 inches of rain in Gainesville, almost 10 inches above the 4.58-inch average rainfall for the month. It rained 22 of 31 days.
Gainesville has already topped the annual rainfall of last year. In 2012, the total rainfall in Gainesville was 49.87 inches, but from Jan. 1 to July 30 this year, a whopping 53.01 inches has fallen. At this rate, more rain will fall this year than in 2009, when more than 80 inches fell; the two wettest months are still ahead.
“We’re going to get into the fall season when we get tropical storms,” said weather service forecaster Mike Leary. “That season starts on Aug. 15 and usually counts for most of our rainfall.”
Historically, we often get the most rain in August and September. In fact, the highest monthly rainfall since records began in Gainesville in 1891 was in September 2004, which had 16.8 inches of rain. Since 2003, the only other time monthly rainfall has been above 10 inches was in September 2009, when 12.2 inches fell.
With these near-record rainfalls, flash flooding becomes a danger. In May, flooding caused Flowery Branch to declare a local state of emergency after culvert failures. The water blocked several roads and access routes causing property damage and a ruptured water main. At one point, a portion of Atlanta Highway was about 6 feet underwater. Some roads are still being repaired in the area.
This concern is reflected in forecasts and statements from the weather service, which released a Hazardous Weather Outlook for most of Northeast Georgia on Wednesday afternoon.
“Active weather pattern should lead to thunderstorms each day with Friday having the lowest chance. With the active weather pattern, flooding could return as a concern to the area as well,” it stated.