Summer Drought on Hold!

Spring Wetness a Local Affair

It really is a dicey business, this weather prediction game. You see what happens in one local community totally defies what happens on the other side of the state, county even ridge.

Case in point is the heavy action of Monday night and Tuesday where a violent electrical storm lit up the sky in the Coalfields and Kanawha Valley while the stars twinkled in the Ohio Valley.

Now comes word of a Thursday afternoon shower pattern in parts of the WSAZ.COM area. A local hay farmer, Lee Greenwood of Athalia, called to see if he could cut hay on Thursday. I stressed to Lee that while not everyone will see rain on Thursday, I could not promise dry weather on his hay fields since the air will again be turning hot and muggy.

My gut says morning showers form in the Coalfields then move north into the Kanawha and Ohio Valleys by afternoon. Locally a quarter inch of rain will fall with the quick moving squalls. This forecast of scattered afternoon showers and thundershowers is predicated on the expected rapid rise in humidity.

That increase in stickiness goes in the face of conditions on Wednesday when Marina and Todd have talked up a beautiful blue sky and refreshing north breeze. That tandem has put a final exclamation point on the first heat and humidity wave of the season.

Tonight, another comfy one for sleeping is ahead as overnight lows dip into the pleasant 50s away from town and hold onto a still cozy 60 downtown. Wherever you live, sunrise on Thursday will feel nice for humans and cicada alike!

One gauge you will sense it is getting hotter and more humid on Thursday will be the increased pitch of the cicada clap again. While we are nearing the end of their month-long run, I have noticed on the hot and humid days that these friendly forest flyers yap up a storm, but on cooler days, they tend to lay low with their mating call.

Of course the big picture has our area enjoying a wet spring that is good for crops and landscapes. Unfortunatelym the nearby Midwest is far too wet and crops will need to be replanted in Indiana, Illonois and Missouri to name a few states. This may well lead to more soybeans for the fall harvest and less corn as a second planting of no-til soy is often an easier task for hard hit farmers.

Meanwhile, just to our south, in Southwest Virginia, Eastern Tennessee and the Carolinas a drought continues. Wayne Browning, a state climatologist for Virginia, reminds me the intense dryness is as close by as mountainous North Carolina and the Cumberland Mountains of Southwest Virginia. Says Wayne,

“An amazing weather pattern this year, with so much rain along and north of the Ohio and such a continued
struggle to get rain amid the typically wet southern Appalachians.”

It is my belief that the wetness will see us safely thru a temperate summer with only around 17 ninety degree days, compared with 50+ last year. I look for those blistering 90 days to be common at southern Nascar towns like Charlotte, Bristol and even New Martinsville. It’s all a matter of how wet your ground is!


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