Parts of La., Miss. experiencing extreme drought
BATON ROUGE - After seeing less than an inch of rain in the past 30 days, parts of our area stretching north from I-12 are now in extreme drought.
8.89 inches of rain ranks fourth for all-time lowest 90-day totals from mid-July to mid-October. The driest in recorded history was in 1924, when the area only saw 5.45 inches of rain over three months.
According to the United States Drought Monitor, little or no rain has fallen over most of Louisiana and Mississippi in the last week. That's a complete reversal from the record April-June rains which eliminated previous drought in the Southern Plains.
In the past 90 days northern Louisiana and west-central Mississippi have seen only half an inch to two inches of rain, which is 6-12 inches less than what's expected. That area has seen no rain in October at all, and the July-September period has been its driest on record.
That dryness and low humidity combined with gusty winds helped fuel a number of wildfires across portions of northern Louisiana recently. In southern Louisiana, Livingston Parish is under a burn ban while West Feliciana Parish has a burn advisory in place until further notice.
In Mississippi, field reports mentioned that winter grazing fields have not been planted and the ones that were need to be replanted. Crop yields are down as a result, cattle producers are feeding hay much earlier than usual due to loss of green forage, general farm ponds have receded and are low, and many established landscape trees and shrubs are showing damage.
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