We're officially under a severe drought situation in parts of central Mississippi. If you live anywhere in the dark brown shaded area, that means you. This includes parts of Hinds, Rankin, Madison, Leake, Scott & Smith Counties. Everyone else is under a moderate drought or abnormally dry situation.
Here's how the drought conditions looks per the numbers. The last time we had more than 0.25" of rain was on July 5th. We received 1.23" of rain in Jackson that day. Since June 1, we've received 8.33" of rain. Normal rainfall totals since June 1 should be 12.84 but since we've only received 8.33" of rain since June 1, we're about 4.5" below normal!
What does this all mean? Burn bans have been issued for many counties because of the drought. For the most updated list of counties included and the expiration dates click here. Bans are requested by the County Board of Supervisors. It's the Mississippi Forestry Commission that approves or declines the request. Because we haven't had significant rain in months, burn bans are issued. This means you are prohibited from any outdoor burning and will face a maximum of a $500 fine if caught burning.
We'll also have to watch carefully how our next significant rain event evolves. Depending on how the rain falls, how long it will rain - we could experience flash flooding issues. How so? The rain will penetrate so far into the ground before it will run off. Runoff is rain that doesn't get absorbed into the ground and will runoff into drainage systems. If the drainage systems get back up, we could see flooding. It's something we have to be mindful of as we track our next big weather maker - which doesn't look like we'll see anything like that anytime soon.
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