The late Spring and Summer of 2013 showed a staggering amount of rain dropped consistently over a 5 month period in western North Carolina. At some point in July the rainfall totals put the Asheville gauges 27" above normal for the year. The graph above is courtesy of Kelly Ivors and the staff at the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center, and shows that the Mills River area received well over twice the average annual rainfall .

In terms of the Green River, the Tuxedo hyrdro plant released water at 200% continuously once for 17 days straight ---- during the Summer. And even so there was water coming over the dam frequently for days on end. This is unheard of. From April through August the river levels were all over the map, but the baseline "Summer Hundred" became 13" instead of most years when it's 7". It got to be where even the mid-teens in inches were joked about as being "boney" due to the extended days of 20+" levels. There were multiple days with well over 30 inches of flow that were paddled by the intrepid, and one occasion (May 5th-6th) 50++ inches was estimated but not paddled nor verified. Anecdotal comments of near-empty parking lots on Summer weekends were not uncommon, as the high water kept mere mortals off the river. The Green's levels were even high enough, consistently enough over a long period of time, that Green Key sales actually took a dive during these months and special appeals had to be made to get the numbers right.

Obviously, creeks and rivers all across WNC charged at high levels on-and-off for most of the year, much to the delight of area paddlers. And although impressive, this graph below from the USGS of the French Broad River for 2013 needs an "average by month" line through it or something for context. Common levels are more like 1000-2000cfs.

Author: Kelly Ivors, and USGS   Location: @Green 2. Green Narrows, NC
Subject: WNC Rainfall 2013  Rapid: all the splashy ones
Date: 11/15/13  Level: high runnable
Size: 91.95KB  Format: jpeg
AW Photo ID: 882790   AW Reach ID:
author of photo John Pilson Details