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Heavy Rain Gives Some Drought Relief to Tennessee, Mississippi

July 13, 1988

Undated (AP) _ Locally heavy rain provided some drought relief to parts of the Tennessee and lower Ohio valleys and gave a slight lift to the Mississippi River on Wednesday.

Minnesota also received some much needed rain, and thunderstorms drenched parts of central and southern Florida.

Most of the rest of the nation stayed dry, though, with early afternoon temperatures in the 80s and 90s.

Parts of Tennessee and northern Mississippi received several inches of rain overnight, helping to narrow the area’s severe rainfall deficit.

A flash flood warning was issued for parts of the northern Mississippi counties of Marshall, Panola and Tate. Thunderstorms deluged Senatobia, Miss., with up to 9 inches of rain Wednesday, flooding local roads and washing out some bridges.

In western Tennessee, Dyersburg received 4.7 inches of rain Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, while Jackson recorded 3.4 inches and Memphis had 1.5 inches. The rain still left Memphis 8.5 inches below normal rainfall for the year so far, a shortfall matched or exceeded by most other areas in the region.

The rain boosted the much-depleted Mississippi River by seven-tenths of a foot at Memphis, but the river remained 21 feet below normal for this time of year, according to the Army Corps of Engineers.

Showers and thunderstorms continued into the afternoon over the lower Ohio Valley, much of the Tennessee Valley and the southern Appalachians, keeping temperatures in the 70s.

Heavy rain also hit parts of central and east central Minnesota, giving a boost to wilting crops but not ending the drought. A farming area five miles north of Princeton recorded 3.9 inches of rain.

″It’s in the right direction,″ said Wayne Schoper, University of Minnesota extension agent for Isanti County. ″It won’t break the drought but hopefully this is the start of something.″

Showers and thunderstorms covered much of central and southern Florida, with Key West recording nearly 2 1/2 inches in the six hours ended at 2 p.m. EDT.

Warm, dry weather prevailed in most other parts, although temperatures stayed in the 70s along the extreme northern parts of the nation and in the 60s and 70s along the Pacific Coast and in the Pacific Northwest.

At 3 p.m. EDT, temperatures ranged from 58 degrees at San Simeon and Arcata, Calif., to 107 degrees at Phoenix, Ariz. The low Wednesday morning was 36 degrees at Truckee, Calif.

Hot and humid weather was forecast for much of the nation Thursday, with scattered showers and thunderstorms stretching from the eastern Gulf Coast to the southern Atlantic Coast, from the Ohio Valley to northern New England and over the eastern Tennessee Valley.

Highs are expected to be in the upper 60s and 70s along the Pacific Coast and into the Pacific Northwest; in the 80s across the northern part of the country from the northern Plateau and northern Plains to the Great Lakes and New England; around 100 in the central High Plains and the Rio Grande Valley; and between 105 and 115 across the desert Southwest. The rest of the nation should see highs in the 90s.

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