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.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.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
  • Front.chat
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in 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.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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