Surprise Showers Welcome by Some

Hit or Miss Showers Help Drought in Spots

A quick thanks goes out to Todd Borek for sending me the following links from the FDA...

www.drought.unl.edu/dm/DM_state.htm?OH,MW
www.drought.unl.edu/dm/DM_state.htm?KY,MW

... as a full fledged drought has been declared by the federal government for parts of Southern Ohio and Kentucky. This comes amidst the growing concern on the farm due to the lack of May rainfall. The Lexington Herald headline said it best on Wednesday….

“THE BROWNING OF KENTUCKY”

The month of May closed as the 6th driest ever in Huntington (only 1.24” of rain fell when we normally do more than 4’). Charleston fared better but not much with 2.12” (not quite a top 10 driest). The last minute alteration to Huntington’s total came when an afternoon gully washer parked near the airport after 4PM on Thursday then rained itself out before reaching Huntington’s east end. Here at the studio, in center city, the ground was dampened by a shower. Amy cautioned us that what looked like the second driest May ever had to wade thru the scattered afternoon action. So when the airport checked in with .38”, she proved prophetic!

The storm that hit the River Cities of Ashland and Ironton with crashing thunder and gully washing downpours claimed a victim. The outdoor graduation for Paul Blazer High scheduled for Putnam Stadium was moved indoors.

The next 2 days will remain tropically humid so you will do more sweating as you go about your normal routine on Friday and Saturday. On general principles, a shower or thunderstorm can bubble up at any time, especially in the heat of afternoon. So pomp and circumstance activities slated for Williamson and Matewan Highs at Lefty Hamilton and Tiger Stadiums will need to be closely monitored for rain. Since I can’t say when and where it will rain on Friday until showers form, officials should have contingency plans just in case.

A chink in the drought/dry spell (your preference, as beauty is in the eyes of the beholder) may appear by Sunday and Monday. That break will come from the marriage of a developing southern tropical storm (likely to be named Barry by the National Hurricane Center for political reasons, see my blog of mid May on why Andrea was ill-named for reference, ) and an approaching Northern Plains cold front.

In tandem, these 2 systems should generate some healthy rains for our parched lawns, landscapes and farmers fields. The importance of this marriage producing rain for us is stark. Without it, a blazing heat wave with temperatures near 100 would be likely by late June perhaps as early as Father’s Day. With it, a hot summer will still ensue, but farmers have a fighting chance to have a decent crop and dad can play golf on his day with highs near 90.


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