Q: Atlanta’s yearly rainfall average is approximately 49 inches. Two years ago, Atlanta had the driest year on record at 31 inches. This year we already have about 67 inches of rain. I wonder if we co

[The following was published Dec. 23, 2009 in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.]

Q: Atlanta’s yearly rainfall average is approximately 49 inches. Two years ago, Atlanta had the driest year on record at 31 inches. This year we already have about 67 inches of rain. I wonder if we could have the driest and wettest years on record only two years apart. Can you tell me the five wettest years of rainfall in Atlanta in the past 100 years? — John Fichtner, Marietta

A: The data, which go back to 1929, shows the five wettest years were 1948 (71.18 inches), 1929 (67.71 inches), 1936 (65.20 inches), 1975 (65.15 inches) and 1989 (62.61 inches). That does not include the inches of rainfall Atlanta received in 2009. The five driest years were 1954 (31.52 inches), 2007 (31.85 inches), 1931 (35.14 inches), 2000 (35.56 inches and 1933 (35.79 inches). The data is from the National Weather Service collected at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. It was provided by state climatologist David Emory Stooksbury.

Q: What happens to the remains of prisoners who die or are executed in prison? — Robert Brooks, East Point

A: The remains of prisoners are given to their families, who make arrangements for burial, according to the Georgia Department of Corrections.

Lori Johnston wrote this column. Do you have a question about the news? We’ll try to get the answer. Call 404-222-2002 or e-mail q&a@ajc.com (include name, phone and city).