Rain stuck on a weekend schedule

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Fall is a great time for outdoor activities in south Mississippi. Weekends in October and early November usually offer some cool, dry camping opportunities for those who wouldn’t even consider spending time in the great outdoors with the heat, humidity, afternoon thunderstorms, and mosquitos of July or August.

Autumn weekend campers look forward to rustling leaves, stars twinkling in the night sky, and roasting marshmallows over the embers of a glowing campfire.

Unfortunately, you had to contend with some very soggy marshmallows if you attempted to live that dream over the past two weekends. Even though it has only rained five of the past 35 days, three of them have been on the last two weekends. And it looks like we have a good chance of rain again this coming Friday and Saturday.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

These last two weekends didn’t just have a few light sprinkles. They were real soakers. Rain totals this past weekend generally ranged between one to three inches across Pearl River County. The previous weekend’s rain totals were even higher, ranging from three to five inches.

So much for the drought that caused the governor to issue a statewide burn ban on October 22nd. Needless to say, the burn ban has been lifted.

The low pressure system responsible for the rain this past Saturday and Sunday has been replaced by weak high pressure extending all the way from the New England states down into the central Gulf Coast.

That high pressure ridge should keep us fair and dry today and tomorrow.

By Thursday the next trough of low pressure in the middle and upper atmosphere will have pushed eastward from the Pacific, across the Rockies toward the central Plains. This will turn our upper level winds to a southwesterly direction, which for us usually means more clouds.

By Friday and Saturday as that trough of low pressure weakens and slides to our north it will push a slow-moving cool front into the Gulf South giving us another good chance of rain.

The large scale upper flow across the USA is keeping all the really cool air bottled up to our west and north. So, our temperatures will continue to be above average for early November with highs flirting with 80 degrees and early morning lows in the 60s.

Once the next cool front finally gets past us, Sunday and Monday of next week are forecast to have temperatures much closer to normal with highs in the lower 70s and lows in the lower 50s.

If you are tempted to complain because your weekend plans are getting disrupted by the bad timing of the rain, you might consider the folks in Imperial, California, a town about the same size as Picayune situated in the southern California desert.

It’s rained once in Imperial since July. And that gully washer was for a whopping two one-hundredths of an inch of precipitation.

I think I prefer a few weekends of rain.

By Skip Rigney.