Florence was the nation's second wettest storm, NC State scientist says

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

RALEIGH -- How rainy was Hurricane Florence? Nearly a record setter.

A North Carolina State University scientist said only last year's Hurricane Harvey rained more over a 14,000 square mile area in the United States during a four-day period.

Preliminary analysis by Ken Kunkel, a meteorologist at NC State and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, found more than 17.5 inches fell on average over five weather stations in the 14,000 square miles of the eastern Carolinas stretching from Fayetteville to Florence, South Carolina.

That amount is second only to Harvey's 25.6 inches.

Scientists said climate change likely boosted rainfall totals for both Florence and Harvey.

Kunkel specializes in analyzing rain date from thousands of weather stations.

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He based his work on rainfall since 1949, when recording became more widespread across the continental United States.

He said his analysis hasn't been published yet or peer-reviewed but will be.

The third rainiest storm hit northern Louisiana in March of 2016.

Florence flooding: Drone footage shows hurricane damage in Wilmington area

The Associated Press contributed to this story.