If it feels like rain has dropped on Charleston almost every recent weekend, the answer is yes, it has. And the downpours are affecting our moods, our properties and our pocketbooks.
The National Weather Service reports the only totally "dry" weekend since Dec. 1 was Jan. 8-10. Otherwise, it's been nothing but end-of-the-week storm clouds.
During those eight weeks, 17 inches of rainfall doused the greater Charleston area, leaving the area 10 inches deeper than normal.
And the rain isn't discriminating when it comes to who is abused. In Summerville, 68-year-old Sandra Weiss said overflow from a clogged drain behind her house has turned her property on Bacons Bridge Road into a river. Even her septic system has stopped working.
"My whole yard is washing into the ditch," Weiss said Wednesday. "I've never seen it like this before and I've been here 44 years."
Charleston Municipal Golf Course teaching pro Marshall Ormand hasn't been able to consistently give a golfing lesson at any point this season, costing him about 20 percent of his income.
"The driving range brings in as much revenue as the golf course, and it's been closed about the whole month of January," Ormand said, describing the range as degrading into a muck-filled field where balls plug and disappear.
The city's 18-hole course was closed again Wednesday -- an otherwise warm and sunny day -- as it was just too wet for golfers to play. The crews who repair golf carts haven't worked in weeks, Ormand said.
Why so wet? Charleston is suffering the ill effects of an El Nino, a Pacific storm current that triggers increased rainfall across the southern tier of the U.S. The tracking means that traditional winter storms, which usually batter the central plains with snow, drop further south, bursting with rain.
"Typically, El Nino brings to the region wetter and cooler conditions in the winter months," said John Quagliariello, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Charleston. He expects the phenomenon to last in South Carolina at least through June.
At outdoor sites that cater to visitors, managers said the rain has been a killer. January visitation numbers at Boone Hall Plantation in Mount Pleasant have "basically fallen flat," marketing director Rick Benthall said.
Crews do their best to keep the dirt roads passable and are constantly trying to grade them as best they can, he said, but when rain returns it's like "adding insult to injury." The strawberries, though, seem safe enough to be ready for their festival later this spring, he said.
The deluge also is affecting area governments. Charleston County Director of Public Works Jim Neal said his call load has increased "200 percent" recently from residents asking to have their ditches and drains cleared. On Wednesday, a tire and a tree caused a major clog. "The water is so deep, it's dangerous to get to," he said.
Steve Nida, a psychology professor at The Citadel, said there is a human health toll that goes with so much rain, largely because rain can cause someone to dampen their expectations, and otherwise ruin plans.
"That's a source of stress and people have to adjust to it," he said.
That includes this weekend.
Friday and beyond is expected to be wet yet again.
Rain is again forecast for this weekend. The heaviest threat will be from tonight after 11 p.m. into Friday morning. Rain will continue throughout the day. Downpours will be heavy at times. Saturday will remain cloudy with sprinkles likely and temperatures struggling to break 50 degrees.
Expect the same for Sunday, the National Weather Service said.