Local residents are seeing what a difference a year can make weather-wise, with a new report showing Mount Airy’s precipitation more than 25 percent below normal for the year.
An even greater testament to the relatively dry conditions prevailing in the area is a comparison to what occurred in July 2013, when Mount Airy experienced its wettest month on record (since 1924) with 15.80 inches of rainfall logged.
In contrast, only 1.32 inches was recorded this July, according to a monthly statistical breakdown from F.G. Doggett Water Plant, the city’s official weather-monitoring station. That is well below Mount Airy’s average for the seventh month of the year, 4.76 inches.
For 2014 as a whole — as of July 31 — this area has received 20.43 inches of precipitation, which is 6.94 inches, or 25.4 percent, below normal for that period, which averages 27.37 inches locally.
At the same point in 2014, Mount Airy had received 48.82 inches of precipitation, which was 78.4 percent (or 21.45 inches) above what the area normally receives for that time. It is also more than 28 inches above the output received through this July.
Measurable rainfall occurred on 10 of the 31 days last month, when Surry County was listed as “abnormally dry” on the U.S. Drought Monitor, along with a cluster of other Northwest North Carolina counties.
Established in 1999, the U.S. Drought Monitor is a weekly map of conditions which is produced jointly by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
The most rain falling on a single day during July was .36 inches.
Fog was noted on 14 days.
Temp Record Tied
Along with being drier than usual, Mount Airy was cooler last month — evidenced by the tying of a low temperature record that has stood for 89 years.
The 52-degree reading noted for July 30 matched the all-time-low mark for that date established in 1925, only one year after weather records were first kept in Mount Airy.
However, 52 was not the low for last month as a whole, with a reading of 50 occurring on both July 5-6.
On the other end of the scale, July’s high reading came just before that on July 3, when the mercury hit 95.
Average temperatures in July were more than 2 degrees cooler than normal, 73.4 degrees compared to 75.8 degrees.