Talking Heat & Drought

 

Heat Wave Ushers in Summer; Post Rain Ag Update
 
It appears the Sunday-Monday rains, while scattered, have done wonders for some crops and landscapes. Hal Kneen, Meigs and Athens County Ohio extension agent, told me that where the rains fell in Meigs County (closer to Pomeroy than the Big Bend) crops are 10 days ahead of schedule. Where the rains missed, water is desperately needed.
 
Hal says irrigation is still on-going in the fertile bottomlands of the Big Bend.where he expected cantaloupes to be harvested in time for Fourth of July picnics. “We should also have the first tomatoes of the season by then”. The early fruits are courtesy of the very warm and early start to the growing season way back in April.
 
In contrast, Carter County Extension agent Myron Evans tells me the tobacco fields of Northern Kentucky have largely missed out on the downpours. “Tobacco is a tropical plant and can withstand the heat wave coming in, but it will need rain in the next few weeks”, Myron tells me.
 
Speaking of heat, the second heat wave of the season is set to arrive in time for the official start of summer on Wednesday night. At 7:09 in the evening the summer solstice will occur as the sun makes its farthest-most move into the northern hemisphere. That will mark the longest daylight period of the year (sun up for nearly 15 hours).
 
Recall how the first heat wave of the season rolled in for the "unofficial" start of summer over the Memorial weekend. This time around, highs will peak near 95 in town with tropically high humidity levels. Areas that missed the rain could reach the upper 90s, but I am sensing too much water in the ground for the airports (Yeager and Tri-State) to get above 93
 
So look for blazing sunshine, tropical humidity and temperatures in the 90-95 range through Thursday.
 
Thursday night a thundery cold front will pass and likely quell the heat wave as rains cool the air in time for Friday first light and the second weekend of FestivALL in Charleston.
 
One final note, Hal suggests you cut your lawn high in the heat with 3 to 3.5 inch height. This will help lawn conserve water and combat the heat.
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