It’s not your imagination. Baton Rouge rainfall drenched residents and roads more than usual during the past three months.
More than 25 inches of rain — 9 inches above normal —fell during that time at Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport. Of the 91 days in those three months, 46 have brought rain to the area. Normally, those three months should have brought only about 26 days of rainfall, said Barry Keim, state climatologist.
June, which had 6 inches of rain, ended with eight straight days that brought rain, flooded streets and some fierce thunderstorms that probably helped heighten awareness about the rainy weather recently, he said.
That doesn’t mean all areas of Baton Rouge got just 6 inches of rain last month. Storms such as the ones that have swept through the area for more than a week can drop highly variable amounts of rain. For example, although the airport saw only 6 inches of rain in June, the Sherwood Forest area saw more than 11 inches.
The rainfall has been a combination of normal afternoon summer thunderstorms and some late-season fronts that have raised the chance of thunderstorms. However, unlike times where a 40 percent chance of rain means a good chance of seeing nothing, this time, it’s different.
“We’re just in one of those patterns where a 40 percent chance means you’re pretty much a lock,” Keim said.
One feature of the recent storms has been the lightning, which has come fast and furious.
A report on Yahoo! ranked Louisiana second in the country, only behind Florida, in the most lighting strikes, with an average of 827,000 strikes per year.
So far this year, there have been 14 lightning-related deaths in the United States, but none of them have been in Louisiana, according to the National Weather Service.
Although Baton Rouge has gone through a few drier days, the thunderstorms will be back, and there are a few precautions that can keep people safer.
If you can hear thunder, get indoors, because that means lightning is close enough to hit nearby, according to the National Weather Service. It’s recommended that people stay off corded phones, stay away from windows and off the porch, and don’t touch electrical equipment or cords.
Also, don’t depend on the safety of rubber-soled shoes or the belief that lightning can never strike twice in the same place, Keim said. Both are just myths. It’s best to just get inside and wait the storm out.
Follow Amy Wold on Twitter, @awold10.