HUNTINGTON - Those in the region who have experienced the recent persistent rainfall probably won't be surprised by data compiled so far this year by the National Weather Service.

Those statistics show that Huntington, Charleston and the surrounding areas have received more than the average amount of rainfall from Jan. 1 to mid-June and are not far off the pace from last year when both cities had record or near-record amounts of precipitation.

The average yearly rainfall in Huntington is 42.59 inches, and the city is well on its way to topping that number in 2019, having already received 23.39 inches. In Charleston, the average is slightly higher (44.03), but that average will likely be topped again this year after having received over 25 inches already.

In 2018, the capital city recorded its wettest year on record with 67.05 inches of rain, while Huntington recorded its second-highest year of rain with 60.84 inches, according to the NWS.

Huntington's wettest year came in 2011 when 62.44 inches of rain fell in the area, 146% of the yearly average.

While it might seem like there has been an abnormal amount of rain, numbers show less than a one-inch difference in rainfall when comparing 2018 and 2019 recordings from Jan. 1 to the middle of June.

High amounts of rain won't wash away your whole summer, though, as many outdoor businesses and entertainment groups are doing the best they can to work around the precipitation.

Take the Huntington Area Regional Theater, for example. During the first of a two-weekend run of "Mamma Mia!" a vicious thunderstorm put the Sunday night show on hold, and it was eventually canceled.

However, co-directors Mary and Tommy Smirl made arrangements for a special showing of the musical Thursday night to get the show back.

"The worst part of outdoor theater is having to be concerned about the weather. You know, you have to pay rights for the amount of shows that you plan on doing, and it doesn't matter if you never get a chance to play the show - you're paying the same price," Tommy Smirl said.

"From the business standpoint, it hurts (to lose a show), but there's also the fact that you've got to get everything ready for the show. You've got actors, musicians and everybody else gearing up to put on the show, and in the back of your mind all you can think about is the weather forecast."

Thursday's show begins at 7:30 p.m., which is one hour prior to the original start time because it's in the middle of a work week, but creates another opportunity for patrons to come and see the show at the Ritter Park amphitheater.

Smirl said the show will continue if it's just raining, but they will be forced to delay or cancel if thunderstorms move into the area.

It's not outdoor theater, but Camden Park has had its fair share of trouble with the weather in recent years as well, yet still works to keep the park running should severe weather move into the area.

Jack Boylin, co-owner and operator of Camden Park, said the staff is well prepared in the event of bad weather and also puts in long hours during the offseason to make sure the park has plenty of visitors regardless of what the forecast might look like.

"This is our fourth year of heavy rain, but bad weather is something we always factor in since we are weather dependent. Our sales staff works hard during the winter booking groups for the summer. Most times, bad weather passes, rides under cover can operate in the rain and once thunder and lightning have passed, most other rides are good to run," Boylin said. "And ponchos are always on sale in the gift shop."

At least in the immediate future, the people of Huntington, Charleston and almost everywhere in between can expect to see even more rain over the weekend and into next week, with at least a 40% chance of scattered showers, heavy rain or thunderstorms almost every day.

However, sun lovers can rejoice and pull out their shades on Friday as the National Weather Service is forecasting the day to be partly sunny, with a high near 80, with scattered showers holding off until around 3 a.m.


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