Dry spells don't mean the end of the rain

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Record-breaking rain fell at Meridian Regional Airport on Tuesday: 2.06 inches. That was nearly double the previous record of 1.13 inches set in 1918. That brings our five-day rainfall total at Meridian Regional Airport to 5.05 inches, and the rain hasn't ended yet.

MORE RAIN TONIGHT

The next round of rain is on track to arrive tonight. Areas north of Interstate 20 - Philadelphia, Louisville, Nanih Waiya, DeKalb, Noxapater, Macon, Brooksville, and Aliceville - could see rain increasing as 7-9 PM tonight. That first batch of rain will break up, but a band of rain organized along a weak cold front will arrive after midnight. Nearly everyone will get rain between tonight and Thursday morning. By noon the rain will largely break up, but an occasional shower is possible throughout the afternoon. Rainfall amounts can be as high as a half-inch for areas north of I-20, but most areas will get less than a quarter-inch.

ANOTHER BREAK, BUT NOT THE END

Another dry period will set up Thursday night and last through Friday. Then more rain arrives on Saturday as a stronger cold front triggers showers and thunderstorms. The early thought is conditions do not appear to be favorable for severe thunderstorms. If that changes, we will let you know. Widespread heavy rain also doesn't appear to be favored, but localized downpours are certainly possible. We will average another quarter-inch to half-inch of rain.

So between rain Wednesday night and Thursday and more rain on Saturday, we're looking at rainfall amounts of a half-inch to an inch as a general rule. Locally higher amounts are possible. Realize this is on top of 5-8 inches of rain that has fallen since last Friday. More rain will only exacerbate the flooding concerns, particularly on the rivers.

RIVERS ARE OVERFLOWING

Flood Warnings are in effect for the Chickasawhay River at Enterprise, Quitman, and Shubuta; the Tombigbee River at Demopolis, Gainesville, Bevill, and Coffeeville; the Sucarnoochee River at Livingston; the Pearl River near Philadelphia; the Noxubee River at Macon; Tallahala Creek at Laurel; and the Black Warrior River north of Demopolis. Even rivers that are not flooding will be running abnormally high. High rivers flow quickly and are dangerous. The banks can saturate a break easily. Rivers are best avoided until the water levels subside significantly. Remember to never try to drive through flood waters.

For more information on the rivers, click here.

WHEN DOES DRY WEATHER RETURN?

After Saturday, a string of dry days are welcome news! Sunday through Wednesday will be dry. Humidity will drop enough to help some of the water saturating the ground to evaporate, too. Early signs point to another storm system bringing more rain next Thursday.

THE NEXT 24 HOURS

This evening will be mostly cloudy and mild with increasing rain after 7 PM north of I-20. Temperatures will be in the mid-60s and slow-to-change. The most widespread rain will stay north of I-20 until about midnight. Then rain will increase along and south of I-20 through sunrise. Our low by morning will be in the mid-60s. Thursday's high of 66 will happen around sunrise, and the day will gradually grow colder. We will have some rainy spots for the morning drive. They will start breaking up by noon as temperatures drop into the 50s. Occasional showers are possible throughout the afternoon, but rain will not be as widespread. Expect gradual drying Thursday night.