Wet, wet, wet ... but a possible break for the Fourth

Travis Bedson shows just how deep the water is in the backyard of his home on West Poplar Street in Charleston last week. Buy this photo

On Sunday, in the spew of a record rainfall, Canada geese frolicked in the water — right outside some back doors in North Charleston neighborhoods.

Charleston rain

Sunday: 2.33 inches (record for date)

June: 13.32 inches (sixth-wettest June on record)

Wettest June: 27.24 inches (1973)

Year through June: 36.76 inches (third wettest January-June)

National Weather Service, Charleston; S.C. Climate Office

That’s how wet it’s been so far this year. After more than a decade of what seemed to be relentless summer drought, the Lowcountry is now so sopped that forecasters worry that any large storm could trigger flash floods.

Now, finally, the rain seems to be easing — a bit. Just in time for the Fourth of July holiday, the region should get a break, with only a moderate chance of afternoon thundershowers.

“A more typical summertime pattern,” said Julie Packett, of the National Weather Service, Charleston. A sea breeze should kick in too, keeping at least some of those storms inland.

But today is expected to be wet again, and rainfall is still forecast to be above normal for July.

The villain has been that old Bermuda High, spinning offshore and pulling up moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. The high is now forecast to move closer in, nudging the wet weather farther west.

Sunday was a record rain for the date — more than 2 inches at the weather service office at Charleston International Airport, and lots more in other spots.

But despite more than 13 inches falling in June, the month was only the sixth wettest on record. As recently as 1997, slightly more rain than that fell. In 1973, the Charleston station set a state record for rainfall in June — 27.24 inches, said Hope Mizzell, state climatologist.

The problem is, those days have been too easy to forget.

“It just seems so wet to us because our summers have been dry so long,” Mizzell said.

Reach Bo Petersen at 937-5744, @bopete on twitter or Bo Petersen Reporting on Facebook.

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