Drought is out: January brings more rain than usual

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – Icy, wet, and muggy. All words that describe the weather this January. One thing we have not seen is a burn ban thanks largely to the recent rains.

“January, it gets active around here but we don’t usually get this much rain. Our normal is around three or four inches in the whole month and we have gotten 7 and a half inches of rain just in the past week or so in most spots,” Chief Meteorologist Isaac Williams said.

This January has been a wet one with us seeing lots of rain recently.

During the past week, heavy rains even led to some isolated, local flooding.

“Thankfully, we avoided major flash flooding around here but a lot of the rivers are up right now, the smaller rivers. We heard of some street flooding and neighborhood flooding so obviously we had some impacts and it goes back to the fact that it was so cold recently,” Williams said.

Chief Meteorologist Isaac Williams said the rain has had one upside. It has helped with the drought situation we were facing late last year.

“If you remember in recent weeks and months, we have been in a huge rain deficit. Our drought really started late in the summer last year and carried over through the fall months and winter months we just did not get a lot of rain. The recent rains here in the last really week or so certainly have helped our drought situation,” Williams said.

The dry conditions also led to increased fire danger during the fall, prompting burn bans, not just in North Mississippi, but across the state.

Lowndes County Emergency Services Director Cindy Lawrence says the rain is helping eliminate those issues.

“I think we have had some impact with the drought, with this rain coming in after the drought. It is not going to eliminate the drought but I think it has made an impact on it so far. We are hoping that it will at least stop some of these grass fires that we have had, right before the ice storm we had so many grass fires, and we are hoping it will eliminate that also,” Lawrence said.

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