Despite heavy rains drought conditions remain | News
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS)- Despite the heavy rain Saturday, an extreme drought remains in the Heartland. There's been 146 straight days of drought conditions.
An Illinois climatologist says temperatures in August were slightly below normal, and that this summer is the eighth warmest on record.
However, the Mississippi River rose Saturday after some much needed rain.
According to the National Weather Service in Paducah, in just 24 hours the river rose a little over a foot, getting up to nine feet in Cape Girardeau on Saturday.
That does not include Saturday night's rain totals, so river levels could be much higher on Sunday.
NWS predicts the river will be higher than 13 feet on Thursday.
The recent rain is helping the Mississippi and other rivers flow.
According to the St. Jude's and New Madrid Harbor Service, they are still going at about the same speed as last week.
It's not affecting them just yet, but barges are still far from being able to carry a full load.
Weather officials say it was good that we started Friday with some much lighter rain. That helped moisten the ground a little before the hard rains hit Saturday.
Heartland farmers believe this latest round of rain has helped out their crops.
Farmers say even a little rain will help if you are getting ready to plant or have recently planted soybeans. One farmer says he even sees new growth with the soybeans.
Farmers also say the rain could help brittle and dry hay fields.
Farmers we spoke will feel the rain came too late for corn crops and it would have helped if we got rain several weeks earlier. However one farmer says he did pretty good with harvest due to the time they planted. He also says that the rain we have received is not enough, but is optimistic that this could be the start of ending the drought.
Some areas in southern Illinois had flash flooding events on Saturday. Carbondale reported 4.3 inches of rain and up to 5 inches of rain fell near Mt. Vernon.
Flash flooding was an issue Saturday evening in southeast Missouri as well in areas like Jackson, Dexter and Poplar Bluff.
Reports show Sunfield, Mo. received 2.75 inches of rain since Friday and Cape Girardeau had received over 2 inches of rain. Paducah, Ky. also had 2 inches of rain over a two day period.
One of the worst drought stricken places in southeast Mo. is in Dunklin County. Near Malden only .13 of rain was reported on Saturday.
Yet, NWS officials say we are still a long way off from being out of drought conditions.
For 2012, Paducah has received a total of 18.05 inches of rain, where the average for this time of year is 32.58. That's still more than 14 inches behind average.
In Cape Girardeau, a total of 16.66 inches of rain has fallen so far this year. The average for this time of year is 31.16 inches of rain. That's a difference of 14.5 inches of rain.
According to the NWS in Memphis, Malden has received 14.57 inches for the year. On average they should be at 29.4 inches of rain at this point. That is a difference of 15 inches.
NWS officials in Paducah say if steady rains continue, then the remnants from Isaac helped out. And, if there's little to no rain like this summer, then this storm was just a speed bump in the road and drought conditions will remain at low levels.
Copyright 2012 KFVS. All rights reserved.