COLUMBIA — Persistent, heavy rainfall Friday set a record of 2.51 inches for May 31, according to the National Weather Service.
The previous record of 1.57 inches was set in 1969. Predicted rainfall during the afternoon and evening could push the total even higher, the weather service reported.
Through midnight Thursday, total precipitation for the month was 6.13 inches, according to weather service statistics. The rainfall through noon Friday would push that number to 8.64 inches, making it the eighth-rainiest May on record.
The record for May rainfall was set in 1943 at 13.3 inches, according to the weather service.
Total precipitation for April 2013 was 7.39 inches, with the record for that month — 11.69 inches — set in 1994. Year-to-date precipitation for 2013 was 23.05 inches through Thursday, and 25.56 inches as of noon Friday.
The record for the period Jan. 1 to May 31 occurred in 1995, with 27.14 inches. That year was the 13th-wettest in Columbia, with 48.24 total inches of precipitation.
The heavy rain also pushed Hinkson Creek to impressive levels. At 1 p.m. Friday, the U.S. Geological Survey reported the creek was flowing at 9,850 cubic feet per second, the fifth-highest level the creek has reached since the USGS began keeping records in 1967. Higher levels were recorded in 1979, 2008, 2009 and 2010. The highest level recorded was 14,200 cubic feet per second on April 30, 2009.
Supervising editor is Scott Swafford.