early season heat and air quality issues, the Mid-South is also now beginning to see the effects of a lack of rainfall so far in 2012. For instance, the annual rainfall at Memphis International Airport so far for 2012 is 11.53", which is 11.51" (50%) below normal.
Below is the NWS-Memphis drought information statement, issued on Wednesday. The U.S. Drought Monitor now officially lists the metro area as being in a "Moderate Drought," a far cry from May 2010 and May 2011 when precipitation was well above normal.
...DROUGHT WORSENS IN THE MID-SOUTH...
RAINFALL HAS BEEN SPARCE THE LAST 60 DAYS OVER THE MID-SOUTH. MOST
COUNTIES RECEIVED 50 PERCENT OR LESS OF NORMAL PRECIPITATION.
OUTSIDE OF AREAS THAT RECEIVED AN INCH OR MORE OF RAIN THIS LAST
WEEKEND, MANY OTHER PLACES ARE IN DIRE NEED OF RAIN.
TEMPERATURES WILL RISE INTO THE 90`S THIS WEEK. THIS WILL MAKE THE
DROUGHT WORSE ALSO.
THE OUTLOOK IS LITTLE OR NO RAIN NEXT 5 DAYS AND BELOW NORMAL RAIN
THE REST OF THE MONTH.
OUTLOOK AND SUMMARY OF IMPACTS...
URBAN IMPACTS...EXPECT HIGH DRYING RATES, WITH YARDS EASILY USING
UP OVER 1/4 INCH OF TOPSOIL MOISTURE DAILY. MOST ALL YARDS ARE OR
WILL BE RUNNING SHORT OF WATER THE NEXT 5 DAYS. EXTENSION SERVICES
RECOMMEND PUTTING AN INCH OR MORE ON YARDS EVERY WEEK IN THIS
AGRICULTURE IMPACTS...CORN, SOYBEANS, COTTON AND SORGHUM THAT WERE
RECENTLY PLANTED ARE STRUGGLING TO GERMINATE AND EMERGE DUE TO DRY
WEATHER. MANY WHO CAN IRRIGATE ARE WELL INTO THE ROUTINE TO TAKE
CARE OF CROP NEEDS. SOME WELL ESTABLISHED CROPS ARE ALREADY SHOWING
SIGNS OF MOISTURE SHORTAGES. DRY WEATHER THE REST OF THE MONTH WILL
DAMAGE SOME ROW CROPS. PASTURE CONDITION WILL DECLINE. HOWEVER,
CONDITIONS FOR HAY AND WHEAT HARVEST SHOULD BE NEARLY ALL EXCELLENT.
FOREST IMPACTS...FIRE DANGER IS NOW MODERATE OVER PARTS OF THE
MID-SOUTH. RIGHT NOW, THE DANGER IS GRASS FIRES WHICH SPREAD INTO
FORESTS. GRASS FIRES WILL BECOME EASIER TO IGNITE.
RIVER AND STREAM IMPACTS...CURRENTLY, FLOW OF RIVERS AND CREEKS
ARE MOSTLY WELL BELOW NORMAL WITH THE FLOW CLASSIFIED AS MODERATE TO
SEVERE HYDROLOGIC DROUGHT.
NEXT ISSUANCE DATE...ANOTHER DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT WILL BE
ISSUED MAY 31 UNLESS UNEXPECTED WEATHER CHANGES WARRANT AN EARLIER
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