It just seems like it won’t stop raining lately.
According to the National Center for Environmental Information (NCEI), record and near-record precipitation took place across the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic during May. Flooding and mudslides were widespread across the region.
Both Florida and Maryland broke their record for the wettest May ever. From Key West to Pensacola, Florida averaged 9.23 inches of rain in May, topping the 2009 record of 8.91 inches in measurements that have been logged since 1895. Even Asheville, North Carolina observed its wettest month of any month on record, with 14.68 inches of rain. Several other locations had their wettest May on record.
Why is it raining so much?
- Warmer Temperatures – NCEI reported that the average May temperature across the U.S. was 65.4 degrees last month, 5.2 degrees warmer than average. Nationwide, there were more than 8,590 daily warm temperature records broken or tied in May. This has a lot to do with what’s going on since warmer atmosphere can hold more water vapor making for heavier rains.
- Weather systems – During May, we saw two slow-moving weather systems in the Southeast Coast, including subtropical storm Alberto in late May.
As rain continues to pour, here are some of the most important things to look out for during heavy rain.
What To Do During Heavy Rain
Keep an eye on local weather developments and act appropriately. Always check conditions before heading out of your house and don’t underestimate weather forecasts and emergency alerts.
Turn on your headlights and keep your wipers in good, working condition. If you must drive, slow down and plan for extra time to get to your destination. Driving fast on wet, slick roads or following another vehicle too closely often causes accidents. It takes longer for your car to adjust on the wet roads and the slickness of the road might cause cars to skid.
GPS apps, such as Waze, can inform you of any potential hazards on the road, including closed roads and floods. Do not attempt to drive through flood water or bridges near floods. Vehicles can be swept away in as little as 24 inches of water.
Stay Away From Water
Rising water levels on lakes, river, stream beds, shores and river banks can be extremely dangerous and unpredictable. If you live in or near a floodplain, monitor conditions closely and have an evacuation plan in place in case you need to leave.
Stay out of cellars and basements when there is danger of flooding. Disconnect any appliances and electronics you have down there, place objects up high and keep in mind our recommendations for electrical safety after a flood.
Keep An Eye On Terrain
Mudslides and sinkholes are caused by oversaturated terrain. A mudslide can occur very suddenly and without warning and can be a powerful and destructive force.
Although sinkholes can also appear suddenly, warning signs for sinkholes include: a nearby lake suddenly drying up and small to medium holes on the ground that appear out of nowhere.
If you suffer from flood damage due to heavy rain, make sure to contact your flood insurance provider asap. If you don’t have flood insurance, check out our recommendations on what you can do.