August weather report: Not so hot

TUPELO – If you think this past August was cooler than usual, it may be because more cloud cover and rain helped make it feel that way.
And you may be remembering 2007 when 29 days blazed 5-10 degrees higher than average.
Last month was, in fact, slightly warmer than August 2008, although last month’s average low was a little lower, data shows from the National Weather Service in Memphis.
August 2009 posted 13 days with below-average temperatures compared to 17 days cooler than average during the same month last year. It also was twice as wet during the same month last year.
“The big thing this summer,” said NWS Meteorologist Michael Scotten, “is we’ve had a lot of rain.
“We’ve also had a little more cloud cover, coupled with higher humidity, which helps keep the temperatures down.”
Many Northeast Mississippians recall the unusually hot weather this time two years ago.
On Aug. 15, 2007, the thermometer spiked at 107 with 12 August days above the 100 mark.
For the past three Augusts, 2007 was the scorcher, averaging 98.7-degree highs, kept warm by lows more than 6 degrees above normal, compared to the 2008 average of 87.3 and 2009 at 87.9.
Rainfall was markedly down in August 2007 at 1.2 inches compared to 8.32 in 2008 and 4.17 for 2009. Typical August rainfall for Tupelo is 2.67 inches.
That additional rainfall has helped it feel cooler this summer, Scotten noted.
“More moisture in the ground means more evaporation,” he said, “and that’s the cooling mechanism.”
With data for 10 days into September, four have been at least 3 degrees below average from Sept. 1-4, following the late August trend of 5-7 degrees below normal in the month’s final two days.
Thursday, nearly an inch of rain fell, which is the most substantial precipitation since Aug. 11’s whopping 3.37 inches. With a monthly total of 4.17 inches of rain in August, the rest of the month was quite dry – only one other day, Aug. 21, posting more than a scant trace of rainfall.
So far in September, Tupelo shows 1.18 inches of rain compared to an average 3.35 inches for the month.

Contact Patsy R. Brumfield at (662) 678-1596 or patsy.brumfield@djournal.com.

Patsy R. Brumfied/NEMS Daily Journal