Florence is nation’s second wettest storm, behind Harvey

WASHINGTON (AP) — A top rainfall meteorologist calculates that Hurricane Florence is the nation’s second rainiest storm in 70 years.

Ken Kunkel, a meteorologist at the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration and North Carolina State University, finds that only last year’s Hurricane Harvey rained more over a 14,000 square mile area than Florence during a four-day period.

Scientists say climate change likely boosted rainfall totals for both storms.

Kunkel’s preliminary analysis found more than 17.5 inches (0.4 meters) fell on average over five weather stations stretching from Fayetteville, North Carolina, to Florence, South Carolina. That amount is second to Harvey’s 25.6 inches (0.6 meters).

The third rainiest storm was in March 2016 in northern Louisiana.

When Kunkel looked at a larger area — 20,000 square miles — Florence fell to seventh biggest rain storm.

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