This summer, Tennessee has seen flooding in the northern part of the state and extreme drought in the South. Within the same week the U.S. Small Business Administration announced it was offering disaster loans for victims of both dry and wet conditions.
Clarksville broke all-time rainfall records for the month of July. Meanwhile, a little over 100 miles to the south, Pikeville received less than half an inch during the same time period, says meteorologist Bobby Boyd of the National Weather Service.
“So, quite a contrast," he says. "I don’t recall that ever happening in the past, and I’ve been around about 50 years or so.”
There are multiple factors contributing to the strange contrast in conditions. Boyd says lack of moisture in the soil, storm fronts stalling out and a historically low lack of hurricanes have all played their part.
An extension agent in Gallatin says the summer floods brought a bumper crop of corn, but they also kept some farmers from being able to actually access their fields.
Boyd says drought’s have an "insidious and subtle" way of feeding on themselves, which could mean the conditions in the southern part of Middle Tennessee might come creeping north.