MU Climatologist Says We Are In A Flash Drought

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COLUMBIA - A University of Missouri climatologist, Pat Guinan, says the state is experiencing a flash drought, which is a sudden unexpected burst of high temperatures and low humidity. This has been a problem throughout the month of May, which had record low rainfall this year. High temperatures and low rainfall are also expected for the month of June.

According to a press release from the MU Extension, Guinan says this is unprecedented.

"It was our warmest spring on record, which blew the previous record set in 1977 out of the water by 3 degrees," Guinan said. "That's significant because typically you break a monthly or seasonal record by a smaller margin."

According to Guinan, historically a dry May means dry weather will continue throughout the rest of the growing season, and this can damage crops, plants and grass within a matter of days. Not only does a dry May mean a dry summer but it could also mean the next summer will be dry as well. Guinan says if you take a look at the top 15 driest May months on record you can see this trend.

Out of those record breaking summers, only two subsequent summers had normal or above average rainfall.

Preliminary data for this year shows Missouri averaged 2.3 inches of rain. That makes this May the eighth driest since 1895.