Dampening public opinions on rainfall

Wednesday, December 1, 2004

November may have seemed wetter than usual, but according to the National Weather Service in Paducah, Ky., rainfall in the Cape Girardeau area is still 7.84 inches behind last year.

So far this year, 36.86 inches of rain has fallen on the Cape Girardeau area, said Robin Smith, a meteorologist for the weather service. November feels so wet because September was so dry.

"We are not in a big wet spell," he said. "When you look at it in the big picture, we're not that far off normal."

Smith said that within 36 hours from Saturday, most of the area received between 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches of rain.

Some creeks were a little swollen with the recent rains, but there have been no reports of any creeks running over their banks. According to sources in the city and county, no one reported any water-covered roads or anything other than muddy areas.

Agricultural fields may be muddy, but the rain has been a benefit for farmers, said agronomy specialist Gerald Bryan of the University of Missouri Extension Center for Cape Girardeau County.

"It helped the grass grow some once we got through with the drought," he said. "Some wheat came up since it started raining."

Only a few acres of corn and soybeans remain in the fields, Bryan said. Ninety-nine percent of the crops have already been harvested, and whatever remains in the field is not expected to be damaged by the rain, he said.

Wednesday is expected to be sunny.

"It's going to be a beautiful day for Cape Girardeau," meteorologist Smith said.

Thursday and Friday are expected to be partly cloudy, and the rain may come back by Sunday.

On the longer range, Smith said the official outlook is for a colder winter with below normal precipitation.

"That's not to say you won't get a couple of good storms," he said, "but in the big picture it should be cooler and drier than you're used to."

lredeffer@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 160

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