October sets No. 2 rain record for the state

TUPELO – Mississippi just slogged through the second wettest October in more than 100 years.
“It missed the record by 1/100th of an inch, which is basically a couple of drops,” said Luigi Romolo, regional climatologist at the Southern Regional Climate Center in Baton Rouge.
The state had an average of 9.64 inches of rain in October, up 6.58 inches from normal. The record was set in 1984 with 9.65 inches.
The figures, from the National Climatic Data Center, are based on data from 1895 to 2009.
Romolo said the most recent October might actually be the wettest one or tied for the wettest, depending on how the numbers are rounded.
Most of Northeast Mississippi had more precipitation than the state average.
The station at Tupelo Regional Airport reported 10.98 inches of rain, the most since the station opened in 1963. It’s 7.6 inches above normal.
Other Northeast Mississippi cities that set No. 1 records were Pontotoc (12.75 inches), Belmont (11.47 inches), Verona (11.27 inches), Bruce (11.99 inches), Calhoun City (11.72 inches), Amory (10.31 inches), Starkville (11.93 inches) and Van Vleet (10.29 inches).
The wet weather wreaked havoc on the region, especially for farmers. Sweet potato farmers in Calhoun and Chickasaw counties were unable to harvest much of the crop and had to stand by as their product rotted in the ground.
Row crow farmers watched week after week as the wet ground prevented them from harvesting their fields. With each week that went by, the quality went down.
Farmers and residents were granted a reprieve the past two weeks as the weather dried up and the sun came out.
“The long hoped for break in the rains finally arrived last week,” the USDA and the state agriculture department wrote in the Nov. 9 weather and crop report. “Producers across the state seized this opportunity to harvest their already delayed crops; as a result, steep climbs in harvest progress were reported for all crops.”
But the rain had already done its damage. Farmers reported 16 percent of their corn harvest was very poor, as well as 22 percent of the cotton crop, 12 percent of the sorghum, 26 percent of soybeans and 32 percent of sweet potatoes.
The livestock industry fared a little better, according to the report, with 11 percent reported as excellent, 42 percent reported as good, 33 percent as fair, 13 percent as poor and 1 percent as very poor.

Contact Carlie Kollath at (662) 678-1598 or carlie.kollath@djournal.com.

Wettest Octobers in Mississippi
The state’s average October precipitation is 3.06 inches, which is based on data from 1895 to 2009.

1. 1984 – 9.65 inches
2. 2009 – 9.64 inches
3. 1918 – 8.67 inches
4. 1985 – 8.20 inches
5. 2002 – 8.08 inches
Source: Southern Regional Climate Center

Carlie Kollath/NEMS Daily Journal