Another week of destructive weather around our country culminated in the passage of Hurricane Maria over the island of Puerto Rico on Wednesday of last week. Some of the rainfall totals from automated stations on the island were of truly biblical proportions.
Though still subject to verification and a check on accuracy, 12.20 inches of rain fell in one hour at Gurabo Abajo, one of several stations on the southwest side of El Yunque, the high mountainous area in the northeast.
Such unimaginable rainfall is consistent with the swelling of the Rio Grande de Manati and Rio de la Plata (at least 10 to 16 feet above flood stage) on the island in the immediate wake of Maria’s passage. It is likely that the full extent of the flooding will not be known for many days, perhaps even weeks.
Meanwhile, here at home we have experienced a sudden resurgence of summer with last Wednesday’s high of 91, only the third high at or above 90 all summer, as both the daily record and the latest day in Madison history to be at 91. The old record for September 20 was 89 set last in 1908 after occurring both in 1891 and 1895.
Record highs on both Friday (91) and Saturday (92) gave us three records in four days — the first record highs registered in September in Madison since 1978! With our 92 on Saturday, the warmest day of this year ironically fell on the first full day of autumn! What a month!