We've received our weekly update on the ongoing drought and the news is not good... According to the National Drought Mitigation Center, parts of Rankin, Hinds, Madison, Warren, and most of Yazoo Counties are now under 'Extreme Drought' conditions. On a severity scale of 0 to 4, this is a 3. Also, Severe Drought conditions have increased from 17% of the state last week to 19% this week. Moderate Drought conditions now include 29 % of the state. Total, 74% of the state is included in this drought...
The main concern is agriculture/vegetation such as grass and plants. The dry conditions also increase the risk for wildfires, although rising humidity levels will help minimize the fire threat. Still, keep in mind that many counties remain under burn bans. If you are caught burning anywhere in these locations you are at risk for fines ranging between $100 and $500.
As mentioned in a previous post, the year started off pretty good! Believe it or not, based on the totals measured at the Jackson International Airport, we actually received above average rainfall through June. But since July 1 we've been hard pressed to buy a drop of rain, receiving only 2.63 inches, putting us more than 8 inches below average (since July1). Any most of that came in the form of heavy downpours, causing much of the rain to runoff before the ground had a chance to absorb it.
The chance for rain over the next week is very low. A few isolated showers are possible Sunday and Monday as a weak front moves into the state, but most of us will remain dry. October is typically our driest month of the year, so unless things change in a hurry, this drought will continue into the fall.
Otherwise, it will feel more like mid-Summer rather than mid-September. Fall officially begins next Wednesday, but our temperatures remain well above average with highs in the low to middle 90s through the weekend, then upper 80s and low 90s next week.