July weather report 8.8

Written by David Green.

The drought has broken, says Morenci climate observer George Isobar, leaving behind brown lawns and some stunted crops, but conditions may vary.

“Precipitation seemed to be spottier than normal last month,” he said. “There were reports of rain falling less than an hour’s drive away that we never got. We had some rain that people less than half an hour away missed.”

All in all, he said, Sunday’s all-day shower was odd enough that it made you wonder what to do with yourself. Almost every other day this summer you went outside where it was sunny.

“I’ve heard that this area is about four inches behind on rainfall for the year,” Isobar said, “but it’s not that bad locally. Over the past 30 years we’ve averaged 15.3 inches from April through July. This year we’ve had 12.6 inches.”

But there’s more to the story than just the amount of rain.

“We went nearly two months with less than two inches,” Isobar said, “and some areas didn’t get that much. Add to that the hot, dry temperature day after day and some unirrigated crops are suffering.”

The National Agricultural Statistics Service noted that in Ohio, the final week of July marked the twelfth consecutive week with more than five days favorable for field work.

That’s the bright side of the dilemma, Isobar said, but a bad trade-off.

A year ago at this time, 72 percent of Michigan’s corn crop was rated “good to excellent.” This year the number was at 26 percent and falling. Only 30 percent of the soybean crop was rated “good to excellent,” down from 69 percent a year ago.

Only Tennessee is rated lower than Michigan in the health of the corn crop. And this in the year of record planting as corn prices rise.

Isobar measured a total of 3.23 inches  of rain for July, thanks to the 2.26-inch deluge that fell early in the morning July 27.

 

  • Front.tug
    MORENCI pep rallies generally end with a tug of war. The senior class entry, shown above, did not advance to the finals. Griffin Grieder, Alaina Webster, Kyle Long and Jazmin Smith are shown at the front of the rope, giving it their best effort.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Athletic Fields
    SPORTS COMPLEX—Fayette’s outdoor athletic facilities will include three ball fields for summer recreation leagues at the southwest corner of the school. The baseball and softball fields, along with the running track, will be constructed on the east side of the school. Outdoor athletic fields were not part of the new school project from 2007, but voters approved a $1.4 million levy for a school addition and the sports fields last August. Both projects are scheduled to be complete by July 20.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.band
    TROMBONISTS Jake Myers (left) and Max Baker perform Friday at the annual Senior Citizens Luncheon at Fayette High School. The National Honor Society and the FFA chapter teamed up to serve a meal to area seniors and to provide musical entertainment. Both the school band and choir performed. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.

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