Dry weather finally returns Wednesday

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, June 6, 2017

By Skip Rigney

It rained every day last week somewhere in Pearl River County. Fortunately, our waterlogged region will dry out beginning Wednesday through the rest of this week.

Rainfall for Sunday May 28th through Sunday June 4th totaled three to four inches in the southern half of the county and four to six inches in the northern half. As I write this on Monday morning, the National Weather Service’s forecasters in Slidell are predicting numerous showers for Monday and Tuesday.

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The major culprit for all the rain has been an extremely moist and humid atmosphere. The high humidity has made it feel very sticky. The high amount of water vapor in the air was not just limited to near the surface, as is sometimes the case during the summer. Instead, the moisture extended many miles upward into the atmosphere.

Last week there were no major weather disturbances near us, but the early summer sunshine was warm enough each day to destabilize the lower atmosphere and get bubbles of moist air rising upward. Early this week, low-pressure systems over Texas and near the Gulf Coast are providing additional lift.

On the bright side, we don’t have to worry about drought for a while. This is especially true in the northern part of the county where May 2017 was one of the wettest Mays on record.

According to data analyzed by the Southeast Regional Climate Center in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Poplarville’s total of 15.21 inches of rain made last month the wettest May in the 122 years of records available for the city.

No one has had to water their lawn lately, given the abundance of rain. The grass in nearly every yard I see is green and thick. In fact, the frequent showers have forced some of us to take a vacation from mowing.

There are downsides to an extended period of high humidity and rain. Mold, mildew, and various fungi love all the moisture, and they can become problems for everything from lawn turf to garden vegetables to vinyl siding and even humans.

Thankfully, an early summer cool front is forecast to pass through south Mississippi tonight. On Wednesday, as the air behind this front blows in from the north, you should notice a much drier feel to the air. We should also see a return of sunshine, a blessing that has been in short supply over the past ten days.

“Cool fronts” here in early June are usually better described as “dry fronts.” However, in this case, you actually may feel not only the air’s dryness, but also cooler temperatures at night and in the early mornings. Lows Thursday and Friday mornings are predicted to be in the lower 60s. That’s still above the record low temperature for Picayune of 58 degrees for both June 8th and 9th.

Fair skies are forecast Wednesday afternoon through Saturday. The abundance of June sunshine will cause highs to climb into the upper 80s. We could even see a few 90 degree readings.

By Saturday winds will veer from north around to the southeast. By Sunday, those breezes will return higher humidity and a chance of summertime afternoon showers to south Mississippi.