Mississippi August heat a record breaker

Published 12:49 pm Thursday, August 24, 2023

BROOKHAVEN — Mississippi is burning up with heat and the threat of wildfires. National Weather Service in Jackson records show this could be the hottest August in recent history. Wednesday set a record for the highest temperature recorded on August 23.

Friday night football kicks off for public schools this week and some teams are moving games back to mitigate the heat players will endure. Temperatures are forecast to get to 103 today with a heat index of 111 when Loyd Star and Enterprise start the 2023 season at Co-Lin.

NWS Jackson forecasts a 20 percent chance of rain Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The chance of rain then increases to 40 percent Monday and Tuesday before dropping down to 20 percent again Wednesday. Conditions remain dry and dusty. Cattlemen might have to weigh their options on cutting hay now or try to hold out for rain.

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High temperatures will remain above 100 degrees until Tuesday when they drop down to 96 for a change.

Wednesday’s high hit 105 which broke a record of 103 degrees set on August 23, 1924. The year of 1924 was a brutal one with 73 straight days of no rain finally ending in December.

As high temperatures remain in the 90s and above, 2023 moved into the top 10 for consecutive days of 90 degrees or more with 44. The longest streak of 90 degrees or more was 69 days set in 1951. We could move into the top 10 for consecutive days of 100 degrees or more this weekend. We are in the midst of a six day hot streak of 100 degrees or more which is two days shy of tying the top 10. The record hot streak is 12 days set in 1902.

This August is on par to have the hottest average temperature with an average temperature of 88.1 degrees. Seven of the top 10 warmest lows in Mississippi history were set this month.

At the same time, dry conditions, wind and heat have made the landscape fire prone. Burn bans are in effect for Lincoln County and 41 other counties in Mississippi. Burning is discouraged and people should dispose of cigarettes properly. Drivers need to ensure no trailer chains are dragging on the roadways because the friction could generate a spark and start a wildfire.