South Mississippi in Near Drought

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Forecasters say south Mississippi is close to being in a drought. National Weather Service meteorologist Dana Griffin says the area is considered abnormally dry.

Griffin says the central and northern parts of the state received several inches of rain in March, but those weather systems didn't make it to the coast. Griffin says the pattern will continue for the next 10 days.

South Mississippi received less than a quarter of an inch of rain in March. The normal amount of rain for the month is 6.03 inches.

The dry conditions and the amount of debris from Hurricane Katrina have sparked wildfires throughout the area. Currently there is a burn ban in the three coastal counties.

The difference in rainfall amounts is dramatic. For instance, Meridian is minus 1.28 inches as of midday Monday. But Hattiesburg is minus 9.17 inches.

Griffin says forecast models for the next few weeks show that south Mississippi could get some rain.