Tuscaloosa On Pace to Break Annual Rainfall Records in 2021
Alabama's weatherman James Spann, ABC 33/40 and Townsquare Media Tuscaloosa's Chief Meteorologist, took to social media early Wednesday morning to provide an update on rainfall totals this year in several Alabama cities.
The full data report from the National Weather Service in Birmingham shows that Tuscaloosa has seen some of the highest recorded rainfall totals in the state. In 2021 so far, Tuscaloosa has received 41.74 inches of rain, which is up 12.3 inches from the same time last year.
Other cities around Alabama also reported large spikes in precipitation, including Mobile at 46.20 inches (+11.53 inches) and Birmingham at 37.08 inches (+5.6 inches).
In 2020, the NWS in Birmingham recorded 65.41 total inches of precipitation for Tuscaloosa, 12.81 inches higher than average. In half that time this year, Tuscaloosa has gotten nearly 66% of last year's total rainfall.
The new data begs the question: is Tuscaloosa on track to break its rainfall record this year?
The standing record was set in 1983, when the Druid City received 78.35 total inches of in a single year.
As hurricane season continues and regular summer showers pop up almost daily, there's a good chance 2021 could break that record.
A major factor for the high 2021 numbers is Tropical Storm Claudette, which caused major flooding in Tuscaloosa County last month. The day of the storms, the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater reported 7.4 inches of rain in a single night.
During that same flood, two Tuscaloosa County residents died when an uprooted tree fell on their home and Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox issued a conserve water order after water intake lines that supplied the Ed Love Water Treatment Plant were damaged.
Maddox said the storm likely caused more than $1 million in damages in Tuscaloosa, and the City of Northport suffered nearly $3 million in residential and infrastructure damages, according to data from the state's Emergency Management Agency.
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