George Isobar talks about dry weather 7.15.09

Written by David Green.


There’s nothing normal about this summer’s weather, says Morenci climate observer George Isobar. It’s cooler, drier and sunnier.

“I don’t have wind data,” he said. “Maybe it’s windier, too.”

It’s been a very enjoyable summer, weatherwise, for the past three weeks or so, unless you really like it hot. But as of late, it’s becoming a bit of a challenge.

“The corn is starting to show some stress,” said Dick Gallup, who farms a lot of acreage in the area with his son, Gary. “It’s been cool so that helps.”

The coolness isn’t something everyone enjoys, however—just ask a swimming pool owner.

“We’ve had three mornings in the 40s so far this month,” Isobar said. “It was 46° both Monday and Tuesday mornings. That’s getting pretty chilly for July.”

In fact, that would have set a record in Toledo—a record dating back to 1888—but the low at the Toledo station was only 51°.

“We haven’t had anything remotely close to record highs,” Isobar noted.

While this area continues to hear forecasts of rain that turn out to be misses, that wasn’t the case in Toledo on Saturday.

“We had our biggest rain in 23 days, and that was only .15 of an inch, and Toledo got dumped on with 1.17 inches reported,” Isobar said. “We sure could have used some of that.”

A few miles north of the Gallup property,  David Craig says isn’t time to start worrying yet, but it’s getting closer.

“Some of the corn is starting to curl a little bit, but the beans aren’t looking too bad,” he said. “But I’d love to have some rain.”

The weather has been great for field work, but now it’s time for some moisture.

This year has brought a pattern that farmers have seen many times in the past—too much rain early on, then not enough later when you really need it.

“We had a couple inches back in the middle of June,” Isobar said, “but very little since.”

To be exact, .23 inches has been recorded in 23 days.

JUNE—June finished with a substantial 3.19 inches of rain, although that’s about 1.1 inches less than the average of the past 30 years.

Three thunderstorms were observed before the rain stopped falling. There were two days in the 90s, including the high of 94 on June 25. The low 40° came early in the month on June 4.

AUGUST—“July is traditionally our hot month,” Isobar said, “with days in the 90s than any other. This year? Who knows? It’s been pretty wacky so far.”

Maybe we’ll have an August like a couple of them back in the 1980s—a low of 32° in 1982 or a low of 37° in 1986, or perhaps it will rise back up in the other direction.

“You start to think that anything could happen this year,” Isobar said.

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