Isobar looks at June weather 2012.07.04

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Storms to the north, storms to the south. Even an occasional storm rolling diagonally to the east.

For people in this area, there was always the frustration of watching the distant dark clouds and knowing someone else was getting a shower.

On June 17, for example, 1.48 inches fell in Toledo and even more in some locations. In Morenci, a mere 0.17 of an inch fell.

At least that’s the way it was until Sunday afternoon when a thunderstorm moved in and left seven tenths of an inch of rain—the heaviest precipitation since the middle of the last dry month.

 “So we had 1.12 inches in May and only 1.36 in June,” said George Isobar, Morenci climate observer with the National Weather Service. “Those two months alone put us behind about five inches. We have had only a couple good soakers in 55 days.”

One good thing about Sunday’s storm, he said, is that it didn’t come close to matching the severe thunderstorm warnings.

“There were storm cells heading this way that were said to be capable of hail up to two inches in diameter and winds reaching 60 miles an hour,” he said. “We had a little pea-size hail when the storm started around 5 p.m., but we escaped the damaging stuff. It was just a good, steady rain with a brisk wind that caused no major damage.”

Isobar said Sunday’s rain greened up the weeds in his yard rather well, but the surrounding grass is still yellow.

The U.S. Drought Monitor services were showing moderate dryness in this area last week, with severe dryness not too far away in western Williams County.

Thirty-six percent of Ohio was listed last week as experiencing at least moderate drought. The figure rises to 87 percent in Indiana. Sixty-eight percent of the Hoosier state was listed as suffering from severe drought or worse, and 23 percent as extreme drought.

Dryness is only half the story, Isobar said. There’s also the heat.

“We had 12 days at or above 90°, which made me surprised to see that the monthly average was only 1.6° above normal,” he said. “That’s because we’ve been fortunate to have a lot of cool nights.”

There were seven nights where the temperature dipped into the 40s and another 12 in the 50s. If you made it through the day, he said, a good window fan cooled things off most nights. On the other hand, there were also seven mornings when Isobar checked his thermometers and the temperature was already in the 70s.

“I got a reading from June 28 that I never expected to see—106°,” he said. “A temperature that high makes me wonder about my equipment, but I have an older thermometer also in the weather shelter and that one read 107°.”

He told that story to his contact person at the National Weather Service office who didn’t doubt Morenci’s hot times. That same day it was 106° in Fort Wayne, 104° at the station south of Goshen, 105° at Lima and 107° at Defiance.

“I’d forgotten that we had a 103° day last July,” Isobar said, “and I was wondering if 106 might be a record here.”

It was no record, he discovered. Just  return to the great heat wave of 1936 when 109° was recorded on two dates in July, plus a 108 and a 107. There were seven days at 103 and above.

This year’s extra hot day set a daily record at the National Weather Service office in Toledo. A new record of 103° beat 101°—set in 1936.

  • Front.rest
    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
  • Front.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.snake
    Lannis Smith of the Leslie Science and Nature Center in Ann Arbor shows off a python last week at Stair District Library's Summer Reading Program.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Pipeline Spread
    LINED UP—Lengths of pipe were put in place last week along the route of the Rover natural gas pipeline that will stretch from Defiance, Ohio, to Ontario, Canada. Topsoil was removed before the pipes were laid out. The 42-inch diameter pipeline is scheduled for completion in November.
  • Front.rock Study
    ROCKHOUNDS—From the left, Joseph McCullough, Sean Pagett and Jonathan McCullough peer through hand lenses to study rocks. The project is part of Morenci Elementary School’s summer camp that continues into August.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2017