Robert Helvey, an operator at Maple View Farms off Muddy Creek Road near Tri-Cities Regional Airport, walks across what used to be the bottom of a six-foot-deep pond in this photo from September 2007. Photo by Erica Yoon.
A weather record that stood for 68 years was wiped out courtesy of the 2007 drought.
Last year has officially been deemed the driest year on record in the Tri-Cities, according to a report issued by the National Weather Service in Morristown.
The Tri-Cities received a total of 22.39 inches of precipitation in 2007, which was 18.94 inches below normal. The previous driest year in the Tri-Cities was in 1939, when 30.06 inches of precipitation was recorded.
Last year’s weather data shows two months that were the driest on record — May and August of 2007, when only 0.76 inch and 0.37 inch of rain were measured at Tri-Cities Regional Airport.
September of last year was the second-driest month on record with 0.74 inch of rain, according to the NWS.
Last December was 11th warmest on record, according to the NWS, with the average temperature 4.6 degrees above normal.
Last year’s drought resulted in communities losing water from failing springs and wells, and some localities imposed water restrictions on customers.
For the year, it was the seventh warmest on record, with the Tri-Cities posting an annual average temperature of 57.6 degrees, nearly 3 degrees above normal.
The record for the warmest year on record for the region was set back in 1990, when the average annual temperature was 58.2 degrees.
Other areas in Tennessee also had record-setting drought conditions including Knoxville, which had the third-driest year on record, and Chattanooga, which had the sixth-driest year since weather records began being kept in the late 1800s.