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.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • 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.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • 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.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.

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