Since Jan. 1, Asheville has recorded 74.22 inches of rain, a whopping 29.49 inches above normal. This year’s total easily eclipses the old record of 64.91 inches set in 1973. The record-setting rainfall follows a year in 2012 in which the city recorded 44.66 inches of rain, close to the annual average of just more than 45 inches.
Heavy rain in January set the stage for what was to be a year-long pattern. Six months this year saw monthly totals of 6 inches or more, with the highest amounts in January (8.58 inches), June (8.97 inches) and July (13.69 inches).
The pattern of frequent, heavy rain resulted in dozens of landslides, a number of them affecting major roadways, and several homes were damaged.
The majority of the slides happened in January, May and July. Major roads affected included Interstate 40 on Old Fort Mountain, U.S. 441 in Swain County, U.S. 19 in Yancey and the Cherohala Skyway in Graham.