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All-time June 24-hour Precipitation Record Broken in Savannah, Georgia

By: Christopher C. Burt, 7:08 PM GMT on June 24, 2014

UPDATE June 25: All-time June 24-hour Precipitation Record Broken in Savannah, Minneapolis, Sioux City, and Omaha this June

An intense cluster of thunderstorms dropped 6.65” of rainfall in about a four-hour period on Monday afternoon and evening at Savannah’s International Airport. This is a new calendar day record for the month of June in Savannah. Radar estimated rainfall reached 10.45” in some areas of the Savannah metro region.

The previous June monthly record was 6.60” on June 29, 1999 and the daily record of 3.29”, set in 1884, was smashed. Official precipitation records for Savannah began in 1871, although monthly measurements exist for the years of 1840-1859 as well (before resuming for good in 1871). Savannah’s average June monthly precipitation is 5.95”.

The top five wettest June days for Savannah are now as follows:

1. 6.65” June 23, 2014
2. 6.60” June 29, 1999
3. 5.45” June 27, 1887
4. 5.07” June 29, 1907
5. 5.05” June 12, 1947

The city’s all-time calendar day rainfall (for any month) was 9.79” on October 19, 1944 and its 24-hour record 11.44” on September 17-18, 1928 (this latter figure from a site that existed prior to the current airport location where records began in 1937).

Despite the intense rainfall, flooding was minimal in the area with just some parking lots submerged and backyards under water for a brief time.



The thunderstorms that brought record-breaking rainfall to the Savannah area on Monday (June 23rd) also spawned this waterspout at nearby Tybee Island. Photo by John Persse.


Meanwhile in Sioux Falls, Sioux City, Omaha, and Minneapolis...

The rain continued to accumulate in portions of Iowa, South Dakota, and Minnesota this past week. Sioux Falls, South Dakota improved upon its moniker of ‘wettest month on record’ with a June total of 13.44” as of June 23rd (+10.40” above normal for the month to date). This has obliterated their previous wettest month of 9.42” set back in May 1898 (by an extraordinary 43%!). The figure of 13.44” is also close to what Sioux Falls would normally receive for the entire year-to-date as of June 23rd. It is also considerably more than what fell during the city’s driest year on record: 10.44” in all of 1894.

Sioux City, Iowa has also surpassed its former all-time wettest month (any month) on record with 13.25” as of June 23rd (+10.23” above normal for the month to date). The previous monthly record for the city was 11.78” in May 1903. On June 14th, Sioux City picked up 5.05” of rainfall, its 2nd heaviest calendar day rainfall on record and just short of its all-time 24-hour record (for any month) of 5.50” set on July 17, 1972. The 5.05” was also a new June monthly calendar day record. Over the three-day period of June 14-16, 8.27” of rain fell.

Precipitation records date back to 1889 in Sioux City and 1893 in Sioux Falls.



Departure from normal precipitation (in inches) for the contiguous U.S. June 1-23. Note the large area of 6”+ across Minnesota, Iowa, southeastern South Dakota, and northeastern Nebraska with 10”+ in some isolated places, including Sioux Falls and Sioux City. Map from High Plains Regional Climate Center.

And this from NWS-Omaha, Nebraska: An old report from earlier this month concerning a new June monthly calendar day record rainfall. The resulting flash flood caused one fatality.

RECORD EVENT REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE OMAHA/VALLEY NE
144 AM CDT WED JUN 4 2014

...RECORD RAINFALL AMOUNT AT OMAHA EPPLEY AIRFIELD IN OMAHA
NEBRASKA...

A RECORD DIALY RAINFALL AMOUNT OF 5.30 INCHES WAS SET AT OMAHA
EPPLEY AIRFIELD YESTERDAY. THIS BREAKS THE OLD RECORD AMOUNT OF
1.85 INCHES FROM 1890.

IT ALSO BREAKS THE MONTHLY RECORD OF RAINFALL FOR ANY DAY IN JUNE
FOR THE LOCATION. THE PREVIOUS RECORD WAS 5.02 INCHES FROM JUNE 17
1875.

Not to be outdone, Minneapolis, Minnesota also broke their June calendar day precipitation record on June 19th:


RECORD EVENT REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CHANHASSEN MN
0248 AM CDT FRI JUN 20 2014

...RECORD CALENDAR DAY MAXIMUM RAINFALL FOR THE MONTH OF JUNE SET AT
TWIN CITIES MN...

A RECORD RAINFALL IN A CALENDAR DAY FOR THE MONTH OF JUNE OF 4.13
INCHES WAS SET AT THE TWIN CITIES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT YESTERDAY.
THIS BREAKS THE OLD RECORD OF 3.48 INCHES SET ON JUNE 29TH 1877.

It is also Minneapolis's wettest year-to-date on record as of June 23rd with 25.32" since January 1st, some 12.51" above normal (almost 150% of average). So far Minneapolis has picked up 10.85" this June, not too far from their record June rainfall of 11.67" in June 1874. This is still a long way from Minneapolis's all-time monthly precipitation record of 17.90" in July 1987 (made possible by the incredible 9.90" that fell in 24 hours July 23-24 that month). Precipitation records officially date back to 1871.

Christopher C. Burt
Weather Historian

Extreme Weather Precipitation Records

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

Wow! A record close to home! Down here 70 miles south of Savannah there's been plenty of growly thunderstorms in the afternoon, and a little rain most days (but not today). Have had a total of 0.43" since Friday.
Impressive! Thank you for the entry, Christopher Burt.

GOES' scrapebook got an impressive cut-together of those storms (long video):
Midwest Rain Week (22 MB MOV) 16-23 June 2014.
Daily pulses of thunderstorms flood the upper Midwest, requiring sandbags along normally quiet summertime rivers.

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TRMM, Wednesday June 25, 2014
Heavy June Rainfall Compared To TRMM Based Climatology
It will be no surprise to many people living in Minnesota and Iowa that rainfall has been well above average this month. Minnesota is still having some of it's worst flooding in years from the heavy rain that fell recently. The analysis above was made by comparing TRMM based merged satellite rainfall data for the twelve year period from 2001-2012 to "near real-time" Multi-satellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA-RT 3B42RT) data collected from June 1-25, 2014. Rainfall this month was shown by this comparison to be over 5.5 times normal (> 550%) in some areas of Minnesota and Iowa.
weatherhistorian has created a new entry.
For the first and (and probably last) time in my life I was storm chasing in Nebraska the day that storm hit Omaha - we saw it develop from behind, and were told it was becoming a small derecho. More to the point - the lightning was continuous and we were told it had broken all-time lightning strike records. Do you have more on that?