COLUMBIA, S.C. — It was a rainy start to the year in the South Carolina Midlands. On March 3rd, Columbia reported 12.12" of rain for 2021, which is nearly double the 7.58" that's average by that date. Then the rain stopped. For nearly 2 weeks, Columbia didn't report any rain at all. It's the longest stretch of dry weather in nearly 2 years, but as of March 15, Columbia's yearly rainfall is still running 3 inches above the average.
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The South Carolina Midlands is no stranger to dry spells. The longest stretch of rain-free days in 2020 was 11 in April, but it was twice as long in May 2019. Columbia didn't report any rain from May 13 to June 4, 2019 which is the 6th longest stretch on record.
Dry spells can happen any time of the year, but are most likely in the Fall. The top 4 longest consecutive days without rain in Columbia, SC have happened in the autumn since 2000. The records go back to 1948. The longest dry spell on record is 36 days of rain free weather from October 9 to November 12, 2016. That dry spell started the day after Hurricane Matthew dropped more than 4 inches of rain in Richland County.