Tony's Blog: More Rain Means Decent Summer

A Temperate Summer Ahead

In our afternoon news meeting here at Newschannel 3, I made the whimsical comment, “it hasn’t rained in 24 hours, we are overdue”! Naturally, I am using the literary device of paradox to get across a key point. It has been wet this May. Make that very wet!

After a parched start with no rain of significance for 7 days, we have managed to squeeze out 4 to 5 inches of rain in the next 2 weeks. In fact, we should get another healthy shot of rain tonight and Tuesday morning when a half inch of new rain will give your lawn a fresh soaking.

The meadows are lush, the crops are growing like gangbusters and your spring garden is off to a good start. Is it me or are the Rhododendron and Azaleas not the best in 5 years?

Hay farmers are set for a first cutting, but in need of a nice dry spell for 3 or 4 days. With Tuesday’s rains probably not the last showers of the week, they will have to wait for Memorial weekend to bail their hay.

Funny, but last May was the polar opposite with less than one inch of rain falling all month. That dryness seemed to foreshadow the drought summer ahead.

Turns out I use the May rainfall, among other gauges, to forecast the summer temperature pattern. And in this case, I feel good in predicting a moderate -temperate summer ahead.

Last summer we managed to best the 90 degree mark on 50 something days. We even posted the hottest day in more than 50 years when we topped out at a mercurial 103/105 degrees in August.

This summer I will predict a much more friendly 17 days of 90 degree heat (15-20 is average) which goes hand in hand with a normal summer. With the Mississippi Valley so wet, I also feel storms will feed on the moist ground in the nation’s breadbasket and send a healthy supply of thunderstorms our way.

So, in a nutshell, a temperate summer of heat will mean a big savings on our home cooling bills (compared to 2007) and decent rains will save on our water bills and give farmers a shot at a bumper crop.

By the way, the wetness will mean a more humid summer than last, so plenty of muggy nights are likely.

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