NASHVILLE — A damp weekend is on tap for Tennessee, which is already slogging through a soggy spring from Memphis to Bristol.
Forecasters with the National Weather Service said Friday that rain by the inch was likely as a very slow-moving cold front was creeping eastward across the state. Recent rain has saturated soil and caused some minor lowland flooding as well as flash flooding that damaged roads in Middle Tennessee.
NWS records show that Knoxville was 10.82 inches above normal from January through April, due in part to an extremely wet January. Chattanooga received 8.62 inches more rain than normal for the period and Nashville was 5.68 inches ahead.
Memphis is 4.77 inches ahead and the first four months' rainfall at the Tri-Cities airport was 6.89 more than usual.
The effects weren't lost on Ken Roberts, who said he was running behind and had to get to his second lawn-mowing assignment Friday in Rutherford County.
Jim Smith, the proprietor and only employee of Smitty's Lawn Care in Murfreesboro, says rainy days have caused him to mow around wet spots in customers' lawns.
"People understand," said Smith. "I don't want to tear up their yard."
Reports from county agricultural extension agents to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service detail conditions on the farm.
From Tim Campbell in Dyer County: "Growers frustrated with wet weather preventing completion of corn planting at this time."
Agent Ruth Correll in Wilson County reported, "Wet conditions continue to delay crop planting progress. Some dairy producers are behind with silage chopping due to wet field conditions."
Things don't improve much to the east.
"Corn planting is still short of normal pace and some fields are still too wet to plant," reported John Wilson from Blount County."
As of Monday, USDA statistics showed just 47 percent of the corn crop had been planted in Tennessee, compared with 92 percent at this point in 2012.
The moist year set in early. Memphis got 5.74 inches more rain than normal in January alone. It was even wetter in Knoxville, where January was 10.82 inches above normal.
In Middle Tennessee, April was the soggy month. Nashville had 4.0 inches more rain than normal for the ninth-wettest April on record.
Not to be missed is that all of this moisture comes about nine months after most of the western half of the state was in drought and even most of East Tennessee was abnormally dry.