Saturday, November 27, 2010

Mid-South drought status as November draws to a close

Little has been said in the past month about the drought conditions that impacted the Mid-South (and much of the south-central and southeast U.S. in fact) late this summer and into the fall months. Perhaps because the growing season has ended and we've seen more rain in the past 4 weeks or so, it's no longer a hot topic.

However, the U.S. Drought Monitor still classifies the tri-state area and the Memphis metro as being in a "severe" drought in it's latest weekly release. The Mid-South area map is shown above. After only 4.50" of rain at Memphis International Airport from August 1-October 31, November has seen some welcome relief from the dry spell, with 5.39" of precipitation falling so far this month, which is above average for the month and more than we got in the previous 3 months combined.

There will be one more opportunity to pad November's rainfall total, and it could be a significant one. A storm system will move out of the Rockies Sunday night and tap into moisture from the Gulf of Mexico that increases over the area into Monday. Low pressure will develop over Arkansas and further enhance the rain amounts. We could be looking at precipitation totals of 1.50-2.00" or more between noon Monday and early Tuesday morning as rain could be heavy at times. Flood Warnings are possible - even in an area classified as having "severe drought" conditions. Certainly, November's rain will help as the Mid-South climbs out of the drought conditions of previous months.

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