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.splash
    Water Fun—Carter Seitz and Colson Walter take a fast trip along a plastic sliding strip while water from a sprinkler provides the lubrication. The boys took a break from tie-dyeing last week at Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program to cool off in the water.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.drum
    on your mark, get set, drum!—Drew Joughin (black shirt), Maddox Joughin and Kaleea Braun took the front row last week when Angela Rettle and assistants led the Stair District Library Summer Reading Program kids in a session of cardio drumming. The sports and healthy living theme continued yesterday with a Mini Jamboree at Lake Hudson State Park arranged by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Next week’s program features the Flying Aces Frisbee show.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks

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