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November competing to be wettest on record

By Walter Geiger Barnesville-Lamar County can look forward to a much needed dry spell this week to enjoy turkey, dressing and the travel that goes along with it. The sunny days in the forecast come on the heels of a rainy period that will make this the wettest November since at least 1981. Local creeks were out of their banks and ponds and lakes overflowing after a heavy rain averaging over two and a half inches overnight Nov. 17. Groundwater levels are as high now as they were in the aftermath of the great flood of 1994, many observers say. The official recording station for the area located at UGA Griffin picked up 9.93 inches of rain Nov. 1-19 with 12 rainy days during that period. November is historically a relatively dry month with 30-day totals averaging near 4.25 inches over the past 30 years. This year, we exceeded that average by Nov. 4. The Pippin family keeps rainfall records at the sprawling County Line Farm in Redbone. Geraldine Pippin reported 7.7 inches was recorded through Nov. 20. With just over a month left in the year, UGA Griffin has recorded 51.66 inches of rain for 2015 – the most on record. Another veteran Redbone farmer, Noel Riggins, does not keep records but reports this year’s rains are unprecedented. ’We have had more rain this year than I have ever experienced living in Georgia. Both of my large ponds are ready to run out of the spillways. That has never happened before in the fall,’ Riggins said. The Thanksgiving week forecast calls for a lot of sun with no more than a 20% chance of rain on any given day. High temperatures will be around 65 degrees with lows each night near 50 degrees.

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