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After a soaking January, another pretty dry year so far

The year 2005 turned into an 'average' year of rainfall, with a total of 40.99' of rain for the year recorded at THE BEE's Westmoreland gauge; that compares well with 2003, and beats 2004, 2002, 2001, and 2000 by eight to eleven inches. We've had more than a few dry years.

When January of 2006 tallied 10.64 inches in Inner Southeast, we wondered if we were headed for another wet year. But things have turned much dryer since then; through the end of June--halfway through the year--the total for the year was 23.14 inches.

That's still pretty good; it's easy to imagine making another 40 inches or so by New Year's. The problem is, without January, we'd only have 12-1/2 inches through June…and June's tally was only .93 inch! That's the third driest June since THE BEE started keeping daily records in 1997.

The two previous, dryer Junes were 2000's .85 inch, and 2003's .34 inch. Nonetheless, June is a poor indicator of how the year will turn out; 2000 was a dry 30-inch year, and 2003 was a 43 inch year…our wettest in a decade.

Bottom line: No predictions. Half a year to go, to close the book on 2006, and we'll keep watching the weather just as you do. And, from time to time, we'll look at the stats and let you know where Inner Southeast stands!