After last week’s deluge, typical summer returns

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, June 27, 2017

By Skip Rigney

The break in the rain over the last few days has been a welcome change from the soggy conditions last Tuesday through Saturday.

As a bonus, yesterday and this morning you may have noticed that the air felt a little less humid. There may be an isolated shower or two this afternoon, but most of south Mississippi will remain dry.

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For Wednesday through Friday expect a return to typical muggy and hot summer weather along with the usual 40 to 60 percent chance of a scattered afternoon or early evening thundershower happening wherever you may be in Pearl River County. Forecasters expect the showers to become more isolated over the weekend, but it will still be a very summery pattern.

The rain last Tuesday through last Friday was associated with Tropical Storm Cindy which developed as forecast in the central Gulf of Mexico.

The center of Cindy moved slowly northwest and eventually made landfall in extreme western Louisiana early last Thursday morning. However, the storm’s heaviest rains were far to the east of the storm’s center in a triangle with corners near Morgan City, Louisiana, the Florida Big Bend south of Tallahassee, and near Birmingham, Alabama.

Also, as is common with landfalling tropical cyclones, several weak tornadoes touched down to the east of the center, including two near Biloxi.

After Cindy moved out of the picture, a couple of poorly forecast weather disturbances moved over us Friday night and early Saturday morning, dumping an additional two to three inches on Pearl River County.

Grand totals of rain for last Tuesday through Saturday ranged from six to ten inches across the county. The rain fell on soil that was already damp from our much wetter than normal May and first half of June.

The heavy rains on top of already wet soil brought both branches of Hobolochitto Creek and the surrounding tributaries above flood stage for several days, but they have now fallen back within their banks. The National Weather Service’s Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center, located in Slidell, predicts that the Pearl River will continue to be experience what they characterize as minor flooding for at least the remainder of this week.

But, why should those of us in Pearl River County complain about a mere nine or ten inches of rain? The “winner” for most rainfall since last Tuesday is a strip of Jackson County from Ocean Springs northward, which received over 17 inches. Three Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow Network observers in Jackson County recorded even more, with the grand prize winner getting 20.21 inches!

A side benefit of the recent rain and clouds was that our high temperatures stayed below 90 degrees last week. In fact, thus far during the entire month of June most locations in south Mississippi and southeast Louisiana have only hit 90 degrees four or five times.

That’s a far cry from the historic heat wave that plagued the southwestern United States last week. The thermometer in Las Vegas topped 110 degrees on seven consecutive days. High temperatures in the California deserts were in the 120s last week.

As you might expect, the humidities were low, often less than ten percent during the day. But, still, 120 degrees is hot, even if it is a dry heat.