Fireworks may be out of the question in Murfreesboro’s city limits this year.
The City Council has called a special meeting to discuss banning all fireworks this Fourth of July because of the extremely hot weather and drought.
“Since the city council allows fireworks usage, it was necessary for the council to make the decision on whether to ban the use,” City Manager Rob Lyons said in an e-mail.
The meeting will be held at 7 a.m. Monday, July 2 in the City Council Chambers, 111 W. Vine St., in Murfreesboro.
Murfreesboro set new records for high temperatures Friday and Saturday hitting 104 degrees and 108 degrees, respectively. The previous records were set in 1952.
Nashville also set an all time high of 109 degrees Friday, recording the highest temperature since recordkeeping began.
The high temperatures and lack of rain made drought conditions rapidly expand across Middle Tennessee last week, placing a majority of Rutherford County in a severe drought.
According to the National Weather Service’s Nashville office the persistent lack of widespread rainfall combined with well above normal temperatures has allowed drought conditions to rapidly expand across the mid-state. June will be the fifth month in a row with below normal precipitation and above normal temperatures have persisted since November 2011.
The latest U.S. Drought Monitor shows 96 percent of the state is experiencing at least abnormally dry conditions 76 percent is experiencing at least moderate drought conditions 26 percent is experiencing severe drought conditions and 5 percent is experiencing extreme drought conditions. Exceptional drought the worst drought category is not currently impacting the state.
Accroding to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln-based U.S. Drought Monitor, all of Rutherford County – except La Vergne, which is in a moderate drought – is now experiencing a severe drought.
A severe drought means agricultural losses may occur the fire risk is very high and water shortages are common and restrictions may be imposed.
Rutherford County has only received 18.24 inches of rain in 2012, which is 9.53 inches below normal.
This lack of rain has caused low water levels in area creeks and streams and below normal soil moisture conditions.
Ground water levels are also below normal and grasses and other vegetation are showing signs of short-term stress. This is mostly limited to residential areas however some agricultural impacts are beginning to develop as well and are likely to continue.
There is the likelihood warm and dry conditions will persist through the summer which will cause further degradation across the area.
Across Middle Tennessee for the month of July, the Climate Prediction Center indicates an increased probability of at or above normal temperatures and at or below normal precipitation.
The thre month outlook for july, august and september also indicates a higher probability of above normal temperatures and equal chances of above below or normal precipitation across the mid-state.
But there is a high probability the Gulf Coast region may receive above normal precipitation as a possible El Nino weather pattern develops this summer. This may eventually bring some relief to the Middle Tennessee with increased rainfall, but that is not likely to occur until the late summer or fall.