NOAA: Driest Ever? Not Even Close!

By: Stacy McCloud
By: Stacy McCloud

Knoxville (WVLT) - It certainly seems like the dry days have been endless, but believe it or not, in recent years, it has been worse.


Volunteer TV’s Stacy McCloud did a little digging, to find that, believe it or not, you don't have to go back many years to find a drier year.


Hot and hazy sunshine, blazing down on crunchy brown grass, it's now the norm in East Tennessee.

 

"I think we need rain, a real much right now,” says Geneva Flinchem.


Need it, yes, going to get it, likely not.  Aside from a shower here and there, the only water in sight is the kind being forced to flow.


Looking back, we really shouldn’t complain too much, just seven years ago, we went 39 days straight with no rain.


This year, the most consecutive days Knoxville has seen without rain, is 15 back in mid-May.


But what makes this year different is the duration of the overall drought.


Giving lifelong East Tennessee residents, like Louise Luttrell, a reason to say 2007 beats them all.


"I have never in my 82 years seen it this dry,” she says.


Or does it? Another era is bringing some competition.


"In the 80's we had a real dry spell, but it wasn't anything like this, it was bad, but nothing like this,” says Geneva.


But actually it was.  For Knoxville, the late 80's were even dryer than what we're seeing now. 


Looking only at January through June, 2007 it comes in as the fourth driest, with 14.73 inches of rain.


Right on the heels of 1988, when Knoxville had its third driest summer with just under 14.5 inches of rain.


But 1986 is officially the year of the drought, still holding the record for the driest to date, with only 11.88 inches of rain.


With six months still left in the year, 2007 still has it's shot to be the driest, let’s hope that's a washout.


Oak Ridge is a little drier than Knoxville, they are seeing the second driest year to date, only behind that dry year of 1986.    


The National Climate Data Center says Tennessee is in such a drought that it would take anywhere from 15 to 30 inches of rain, depending on where you live,  to end drought conditions in three months.


Here are the current record holders, according to NOAA:





































































Knoxville- Driest June (1910-2007)
2007 - 11th Driest June
Rank
Inches
Ending Date
1
0.20
6/30/1944
2
0.51
6/30/1988
3
0.69
6/30/1986
4
0.90
6/30/1993
5
0.97
6/30/1964
6
1.39
6/30/1936
7
1.50
6/30/1931
8
1.56
6/30/1913
9
1.72
6/30/1990
10
1.78
6/30/1925
11
1.92
6/30/2007



































































Chattnooga- Driest June (1927-2007)
2007 - 18th Driest June
Rank
Inches
Ending Date
1
0.29
6/30/1931
2
0.63
6/30/1988
3
0.87
6/30/1968
4
0.94
6/30/1944
5
1.02
6/30/1952
6
1.03
6/30/1966
7
1.19
6/30/1974
8
1.42
6/30/1956
9
1.44
6/30/1933
10
1.63
6/30/1967



































































Oak Ridge - Driest June (1947-2007)
2007 - 9th Driest June
Rank
Inches
Ending Date
1
0.53
6/30/1988
2
0.85
6/30/1980
3
0.86
6/30/1964
4
1.18
6/30/1952
5
1.35
6/30/2006
6
1.45
6/30/1986
7
1.50
6/30/2002
8
1.53
6/30/1990
9
1.59
6/30/2007
10
1.60
6/30/1993



































































Knoxville - Driest Jan-June (1910-2007)
2007 - 4th Driest Jan-June
Rank
Inches
Ending Date
1
11.88
6/30/1986
2
13.91
6/30/1925
3
14.49
6/30/1988
4
14.73
6/30/2007
5
15.75
6/30/1941
6
16.96
6/30/1952
7
17.47
6/30/1931
8
18.49
6/30/1985
9
18.58
6/30/1930
10
18.74
6/30/1914



































































Chattanooga - Driest Jan-June (1927-2007)
2007 - 2nd Driest Jan-June
Rank
Inches
Ending Date
1
12.16
6/30/1986
2
13.87
6/30/2007
3
15.57
6/30/1941
4
16.70
6/30/1931
4
16.70
6/30/1988
6
18.09
6/30/1968
7
19.33
6/30/1967
8
20.06
6/30/1985
9
20.79
6/30/2006
10
21.12
6/30/1966



































































Oak Ridge - Driest Jan-June (1947-2007)
2007 - 2nd Driest Jan-June
Rank
Inches
Ending Date
1
14.93
6/30/1986
2
17.15
6/30/2007
3
18.32
6/30/1992
4
18.77
6/30/1988
5
20.15
6/30/1952
6
20.35
6/30/1985
7
20.45
6/30/1958
8
20.94
6/30/1981
9
22.04
6/30/1948
10
22.58
6/30/1987



































































Knoxville - Consecutive Days Without Rain
2007 - 64th (15 Days without rain)
Rank
# Days
Ending Date
1
39
11/3/2000
2
32
10/31/1963
3
28
10/25/1920
4
27
10/23/1931
5
26
9/29/1984
6
26
10/25/1924
7
24
11/18/2001
8
24
9/23/1955
9
23
9/9/1954
10
23
11/2/1952



































































Chattanooga - Consecutive Days Without Rain
2007 - 33rd (18 Days without rain)
Rank
# Days
Ending Date
1
39
10/19/1935
2
30
9/19/1954
3
30
10/26/1953
4
29
10/24/2000
5
29
11/8/1952
6
28
11/22/2001
7
27
11/8/1944
8
26
9/29/1984
9
26
5/1/1930
10
25
9/23/1940



































































Oak Ridge - Consecutive Days Without Rain
2007 - 64th (13 Days without rain)
Rank
# Days
Ending Date
1
32
10/31/1963
2
31
10/26/1953
3
29
11/8/1952
4
24
11/18/2001
5
23
6/17/1980
6
22
10/17/2000
7
22
11/19/1953
8
21
11/23/1999
9
21
9/7/1998
10
20
5/5/2001

 


 


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