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As the Southeast Deals with Drought, Missouri Weather Conditions are Improving, says MU Climatologist

Nov. 1, 2007

Story Contact:  Bryan C. Daniels, (573) 882-9144,
Pat Guinan, (573) 882-5908,

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Weather conditions in Missouri are quite different than the southeastern United States, which is currently experiencing drought conditions of historic proportions. During the past few weeks, conditions in Missouri have improved, said a University of Missouri-Columbia climatologist.

“It’s not nearly as bad as what’s going on in parts of the southeastern U.S.,” said Pat Guinan, assistant professor of climatology at the University of Missouri-Columbia and MU climatologist with the Extension Commercial Agriculture Program. “What’s happening in portions of Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia is unprecedented. It’s far less dire here in Missouri.”
He said very wet conditions have evolved over the past five weeks across much of the state: north central, northwestern, west central, southeastern and far southwestern sections of the state – where six to nine inches of rain have been common. Guinan said the only part of the state with below normal rainfall the past few weeks is along the Interstate 44 corridor from St. Louis to Springfield. This region has received one to three inches of rain since late September. East central Missouri still needs more rainfall.

“In Georgia, water restrictions are being enforced,” he said. “There’s nothing like that scenario in Missouri.”

Georgia officials, who are taking extreme measures to conserve water, have banned nearly all outdoor water usage. Conservation efforts also are underway at the Georgia Aquarium and other area attractions. Forecasters have said weather conditions for Georgia aren’t encouraging as drought conditions are expected to remain for the next month and throughout much of the winter.   

Since 1996, Guinan has been employed by the MU Extension Commercial Agriculture Program as a climatologist. In 2004, he received his doctorate from MU in soil, environmental and atmospheric sciences. In addition to his extension duties, Guinan serves as the state climatologist for Missouri and director of the Missouri Climate Center. His specialties include agricultural meteorology and climatology.

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