AVERY COUNTY — Coming off one of the wettest years on record in 2018, with above-average precipitation stretching through most of the year, 2019 began hugging the normal precipitation totals until June.
Storms from June 6 to 11 accumulated nearly seven inches in rain at the Banner Elk station and nearly eight inches at the Beech Mountain station. Those figures represent a record amount of rain in that short span for each location, according to National Weather Service data.
The more than 10 inches that accumulated at the Beech Mountain site is the most on record in June, while the nine inches that accumulated in Banner Elk are surpassed by 10 inches in 1974. The driest June on record was recorded in Banner Elk in 1954, with only .9 inches of precipitation.
The graphs have remained above normal levels since the heavy storms in June, alternately dipping above and below the trend line.
Last year, large parts of Western North Carolina were impacted by rain bands from hurricanes Florence and Michael. Avery County was spared the worst of the flooding at the time, though there was severe flooding sporadically throughout the High Country.
Florence caused severe flood damage along the state’s coast that caused widespread evacuations, power outages and school closures.
When the county is facing weather with the potential to cause severe flooding, emergency personnel notify residents in flood areas they may need to evacuate, and shelters will be set up to temporarily house evacuees.
About an inch more of rain accumulated from brief storms last week and over the weekend, but the amount has not caused another spike away from the annual trend.
Last year, precipitation totals continued to accumulate due to large storms through the end of the year, with notable spikes in August and October.
Click to readync.org for information about emergency preparedness and resources in the event of severe weather.