By DAVID GREEN
It rained and it rained and then it stopped. The spigot was mostly shut off.
“It was a rather odd month,” said Morenci area climate Observer George Isobar. “July finished well above normal in the precipitation department even though we had only about half an inch in the final three weeks of the month.”
It all came early, and it came down hard.
The average for the month was already exceeded in a storm on the afternoon of July 2 when 4.77 inches fell. That wasn’t the end of the big rains.
A week later, on July 8, 2.46 inches fell in an afternoon storm, and then it nearly shut off.
“A few days after that, a little over a quarter inch fell and a week later a little less than a quarter inch,” Isobar said. “That makes less than half an inch of rain in 27 days. It’s really getting dry.”
But the total for the month...that’s a different story.
“There’s only been one wetter July in the past 33 years,” Isobar said. “In 1992 we had an unusually high 10.34 inches. This year we finished with 7.71.”
The average for July is about 3.5 inches. Nearly six inches fell in June for a total of 13.58 inches—mostly in about five weeks.
“Now we seem to be stuck in this cycle of forecasts calling for a 50 percent chance of rain, a 40 percent chance of thunderstorms and so forth, but no rain ever falls,” Isobar said. “Print this in the paper and watch the rain come through.”
The high temperature for the month was 89°. That was recorded on four days, including the final three days of the month. There were three days tied for the low temperature of 50°.
“For the most part, we had cooling night-time temperatures,” Isobar said, “but there were four mornings with the temperature in the low 70s by 7:30 a.m. when I checked the equipment. When it’s in the 70s that early, you’re not going to get very good cooling before it heats up again.”
For the month, the mean temperature was 0.4° above normal.
There were only three thunderstorms last month—none with severe weather—and the average wind speed was only 6.5 miles an hour at the Toledo weather service office.
The highest gust reported at the Toledo office was a strong 54 miles an hour during the heavy storm July 2.
Ordinarily, Isobar said, he would tell us to expect more of the same for August.
“We almost always have some temperatures in the 90s during August,” he said. “The mean temperature is generally a little cooler than July, but not by much.”
But this year, more of the same would mean...well, that depends on how you look at it...either above average rainfall or extremely dry. July was some of each.
“August is generally one of the wetter months of the year,” Isobar said, “so maybe we’ll be breaking out of this soon and get some good rains falling here. The lawns are really starting to turn brown.”