Taylor Stoia, a fourth-year marketing student at UofSC, walks along a flooded sidewalk at the Columbia Canal and Riverfront Park in Columbia. Photos by: Rachel Strieber
Columbia is experiencing higher than normal rainfall rates this month, and students at the University of South Carolina say they are feeling a bout of rainy day blues as a result.
Dan Miller, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service at the Columbia Metropolitan Airport, explained that the normal monthly rainfall for February in Columbia is 3.61 inches, and the city is currently at 6.29 inches.
“So we’re about 2 3/4 inches above normal so far for the month,” said Miller.
Some students say they have been feeling a little down as a result.
“I’ve noticed all of the extra rain the past couple of weeks. Every day seems gloomy and rainy,” said Matthew Michalik, a fourth-year finance major.
In addition to the rainy blues, the excessive rain has caused flooding around the Congaree River and various roads surrounding the UofSC campus, making some students concerned for their safety.
“I’d rather not drive around campus when it’s raining. I’m not as comfortable driving in the rain, so with all of the rain this week, I’d rather stay inside of my house,” said Michalik.
February is not the first month to experience above-average precipitation.
Miller explained that precipitation rates have been higher than normal since February of 2019, except for the months of August and October of 2020.
“The wettest February ever recorded was in 1939, which was 9.39 inches, and the 10th wettest was 6.96 inches in 1929,” said Miller. “If we get another seven-tenths between now and the end of the month, then we might get into a top 10 wettest February.”
While the month is over half way through, there is a chance Columbia may meet this record.
“Before the month is over, we do have another chance next Friday for more rain, which would add to that total,” said Miller.
However, drier days may be on the way in the near future.
Miller explained that the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center issues climate outlooks for longer periods of time. The center issued its “March Outlook” on Thursday, which predicts above normal temperatures and a chance of below normal precipitation.
This news brings hope to students impacted by the rainy blues.
“It’s never been this rainy here since I moved here, so I’m optimistic that we’ll see some sunshine soon,” said Taylor Stoia, a fourth-year marketing student.
Until then, many students have adapted their daily routines to cure their rainy blues.
“I usually try to get a coffee to pep myself up and then push myself to do a workout class,” said Stoia. “I try to keep myself busy so that I don’t want to just sit in my bed and watch movies all day, which is typically my favorite rainy day activity.”